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NX 



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A VOYAGE 



UP 



THE RIVER AMAZON, 



INCLUDING 



A RESIDENCE AT PARA. 



BY WILLIAM H. EDWARDS. 



LONDON: 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. 

1861. 



PRESERVATION 
COPY ADDED 
ORIGINAL TO BE 
RETAINED 

OCT 1 2 1992 



! -:]NTr.D EV W. CLOWES AND SOXS, STAHFORP -TIIEET 
AND CHABIN'G CROSS. 



R E F A C E. 



V) 



IN these stirring times, when all Anglo-Saxondom is on the 

qui-vive for novelty, and the discovery of a new watering- 

^ place is hailed with more enthusiasm than the discovery of a 

Js^new planet, when the "universal Yankee nation" has so 

F\ nearly exhausted all the whereabouts which modern facilities 

^ for locomotion have brought so conveniently within its reach, 

when the Old World has become also an old story, and 

^summer excursions to St. Petersburg and Tornea, and winter 

v, sojourns in Australia and Typee, have afforded amusement, 

not only to travellers themselves, but to those who, at their 

own fire sides, like equally well to take a trip to the ends of 

the earth in their comfortable arm-chairs ; it has been a matter 

of surprise to me, that those who live upon the excitement of 

seeing and telling some new thing have so seldom betaken them- 

selves to our Southern continent. 

Promising indeed to lovers of the marvellous is that land, 
where the highest of Earth's mountains seek her brightest 
skies, as though their tall peaks sought a nearer acquaintance 
with the most glorious of stars ; where the mightiest of rivers 
roll majestically through primeval forests of boundless extent, 
concealing, yet bringing forth, the most beautiful and varied 
forms of animal and vegetable existence ; where Peruvian 
gold has tempted, and Amazonian women have repulsed, the 
unprincipled adventurer ; and where Jesuit missionaries, and 
luckless traders, have fallen victims to cannibal Indians and 
epicurean anacondas. 

With a curiosity excited by such wonders, and heightened 

2 



i- PREFACE. 

by the graphic illustrations in school Geographies, where men 
riding rebellious alligators form a foreground to tigers bound- 
ing over tall canes, and huge snakes embrace whole boats' 
crews in their ample folds, the writer of this unpretending 
volume, in company with his relative, Aniory Edwards, Esq., 
late U. S. Consul at Buenos Ayres, visited Northern Brazil, 
and ascended the Amazon to a higher point than, to his know- 
ledge, any American had ever before gone. 

As an amusement, and by way of compensation to himself 
for the absence of some of the monsters which did not meet 
his curious eye, he collected as many specimens in different 
departments of natural history as were in his power, at the 
same time chronicling the result of his observations, in the hope 
that they might not be unacceptable to the naturalist or to the 
reneral reader. 

To the science of a naturalist he makes no pretensions, but, 
as a lover and devout worshipper of Nature, he has sought 
her in some of her most secret hiding-places, and from these 
comparatively unexplored retreats has brought the little which 
she deigned to reveal to him. 

The country of the Amazon is the garden of the world, 
possessing every requisite for a vast population and an ex- 
tended commerce. It is, also, one of the healthiest of regions ; 
and thousands who annually die of diseases incident to the 
climates of the North might here find health and long life. 

If this little book shall contribute to a more general know- 
ledge of the advantages of such a country, the labour of its 
preparation will be amply repaid. 

AVic For*, May, 1847. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Leave New- York for Para Sunset Curiosities of the sea Luminous water 
Approach the mouth of the Amazon Salinas Entrance of the river 
Scenery Arrival at Para Page 1 

CHAPTER II. 

Horning view of the harbour and city Visit Land at the Punto de Pedras 
Novel scene Reception at Mr. Norris's Garden and plants Elec- 
trical eel Anaconda Religious procession ..... 4 

CHAPTER III. 

Founding of Para Late disturbances Site and vicinity Form of the city 
Rosinhas Houses Largo da Palacio, da Polvora, da Quartel Public 
buildings Churches Palaces Theatre Cathedral Rua da Mangabei- 
ras Nazar6 Mr. Henderson's plantation Rosinha of Mr. Smith, and 
fruit-trees Coffee Pine-apples Oranges Limes Mangoes Inga 
Alligator pears Custard-apple Flowers 9 

CHAPTER IV. 

Licence of residence Officials Provincial government Church establish- 
ment Troops Enrolment of Indians Drilling recruits Absence of inns 
Foreigners Citizens Manner of living Public ball Mechanics 
Obstructions to labour Apprentices and school Carrying burdens 
Water-jars Rearing of children Food of lower classes Mandioca and 
preparation of farinha Tapioca Fish Beef Vegetables Fruits 
Pacovas Cocoa-nuts Assai-palms ... ... 18 

CHAPTER V. 

Leave Para for the rice-mills Boatmen Night scene upon the water Ar- 
rival Vicinity of the mills A Brazilian forest Sporting Toucans 
Chatterers Motmots Manikins Humming-birds Snake stories Ab- 
sence of flies Ants Saiibas Cupims Little ant-eater Lakes Nests 
of troopials Sloth Armadillo Beetles Puma Monkeys Indian boy 
Description of the mills Blacks Sleeping in hammocks Vampire bats 
Wasps' nests Visit Corentiores Sporting there Reception Bread- 
fruit Larangeira Cotton-tree Maseranduba or cow-tree Walk 
through the forest to the city Spider Flowers .... 26 



vi CONTEXTS. 

CHAPTER VI. 

Start forCaripe Island scene Arrival Vicinity Tomb of Mr. Graham 
Dinner Shelling in the bay Varieties of shells Martins Terns Xuts 
and fruits Mode of fishing Four-eyed fish Ant-tracks Moqueens 
Forest Creeping-plantb Wild hogs, or peccaries Traps Agoutis 
Pacas Squirrels Birds Chapel and singing of the blacks Andiroba 
oil Page 45 

CHAPTER Vn. 

Leave for Taiiaii Indians Arrival at midnight Morning view The es- 
tate Tilaria or pottery Lime-kiln Slaves Castanha-tree Cuya or 
gourd-tree Ant-hills An ant battle Forest Macaws Doves Other 
birds Sloth Coati Macura Butterflies Return to the city Festival 
of Judas Visit Senhor Angelico, upon the Guama Brazilian country- 
house Curious air-plant Seringa, or rubber-trees Harpy eagle Mon- 
keys 52 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Leave Para for Vigia Boatmen Inland passage Egrets and herons 
Stop at sugar-plantation Cupuassu Mangroves Insolence of pilot 
Vigia Arrival at Senhor Godinho's Reception The Campinha and its 
scenery Sporting Parrots Employes Sun-bird Boat-bill Tinami 
Iguana lizard Sugar-cane Mill Slaves Leave the Campinha King- 
fishers Go below for ibises Sand-flies Return to Para A pet ani- 
mal 63 

CHAPTER IX. 

First discovery of the Amazon by Pinzon Expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro 
Descent of Orellana Settlement of Para Second descent Ascent of 
Teixera and arrival at Quito He descends with Acuna Indian tribes 
Rivers, &c. Their report of the country Number of tribes Indian cus- 
toms Languages Lingoa Geral Cannibals System of the Jesuits 
Their banishment Present system and condition of the Indians Their 
Government Compulsory labour 74 

CHAPTER X. 

Preparations for ascending the Amazon Our companions The galliota 
Indians Provisions Difficulties at starting Detained at Senhor Lima's 
Incident An afternoon upon the beach Another sitio Marajo The 
Tocantins Islands Ciganas and other birds Wood scene Habits of 
our Indians Arrive at Braves Pottery painting "Water-jars Filing 
the teeth Funeral of a child A palm-swamp Seringa-trees and gum- 
collectors Sloth Howling monkeys An adventure Enter the Amazon 
A macaw hunt ..... .... 81 

CHAPTER XL 

Arrive at Gurupa Situation of the town Reception by the Commandante 
An egg hunt Storm Cross the Xingu Carapanas Cedar-logs 
Harpy eagle Birds Mountains Indian cooking Forest-trees Snake- 



CONTENTS. 



birds A toucan's nest Mutucas Indian improvidence Grass-fields 
Enter an igaripe Hyacinthine macaws Passion-flowers Pass Pryinha 
Monte Alegre Arrive at sitios Thrush Campo Incident Enter the 
Tapajos White herons Flowering trees Arrival at Santarem Captain 
Hislop Morning calls Beef-River Tapajos Feather dresses Embalmed 
heads Description of Santarem Departure A slight difficulty Page 92 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Amazon thus far A cacao sitio Politeness Runaways Growing of 
cacao An alligator High bank Deserted sitio Kingfishers Roman- 
as Water-birds Arrive at Obidos Rio desTrombetas Incidents upon 
leaving Manner of ascending the river Shells Stop at a sitio High 
bluff Water-plants Capitan des Trabalhadores Arrive at Villa Nova 
Festa of St. Juan Water scene A Villa Nova house Turtles Stroll 
in the woods Lakes ......... 104 

CHAPTER Xm. 

Leave Villa Nova Our manner of living Shells Jacamars Paroquets 
Monkeys Scorpion Enter an igaripe A deserted sitio Wild duck 
Scarlet tanagers -A deserted sitio Tobacco Shells A colony of 
monkeys A turtle's revenge Immense trees Albino monkey A self- 
caught fish Porpoises Curassows and nests A turtle-feast Squirrel 
Wild Indians White herons Shells Umbrella chatterer Cross to the 
northern shore Periecu and tambaki Arrive at Serpa Senhor 
Manoel Jochin An Indian dance . . . . . . .116 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Fourth of July at Serpa Lake Saraca An accession Pic-nic An opossum 
Narrow passage Swallow-tailed hawks Sitio of the Delegarde River 
Madeira Village of our Tau9ha Appearance of his party on arriving at 
home The old rascal Bell-bird Stop at a sitio, and reception Orioles 
A cattle sitio Swift current Enter the Rio Negro Arrive at 
Barra 128 

CHAPTER XV. 

Rio Negro at Barra The town Old fort Senhor Henriquez and family 
Manner of living Venezuelans Piassaba rope Grass hammocks 
Feather-work Descent of the Negro Gallos de Serra Chili hats 
Woods in the vicinity Trogons Chatterers Curassows Guans 
Parrots and toucans Humming-birds Tiger-cats Squirrels A Tiger 
story The casue'ris A Yankee saw-mill Mode of obtaining logs A 
pic-nic Cross the river to a campo Cattle and horses A select ball 137 

CHAPTER XVI. 

A new river Rio Branco Turtle-wood Unexplored region Traditions 
Peixe boi or cow-fish Turtles Influences at Barra Indians 
Foreigners Indian articles Poison used upon arrows Traffic Balsam 
Copaivi Salsa Quinia Vanilla Tonga beans Indigo Guarana 
Pixiri or nutmeg Seringa Wild cotton Rock salt The Amazon above 
the Rio Negro The Rio Negro 148 



Yiii CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVIL 

Prepare to leave Barra Difficulty in obtaining men The mail Kindness 

of our friends Re-enter the Amazon Arrive at Serpa A desertion 

Working one's passage Disorderly birds Pass Tabocal Snake-bird 

Marakong geese Breeding-place of herons Arrive at Villa Nova The 

commandante Visit to the lake Boat-building Military authorities 

School King of the vultures Parting with Senhor Bentos Pass Obidos 
Caracara eagle Our crew Indian name of the Amazon . Page 160 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Arrive at Santarem Negro stealing Pass Monte Alegre Strong winds 
Usefulness of the sun-bird Family government Reformation in the 
Paroquets Low shore A Congress Otters Enter the Xingu Gurupa 
Leave the Amazon Assai-palms A friend lost and a friend gained 
Braves Our water-jars Crossing the bay of Limoeiro Seringa-trees 
A lost day Town of Santa Anna Igaripe Merim Enter the Mojti 
Manufacture of rubber shoes Anatto Arrival at Para . . .170 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Our Lady of Nazareth Nazare legend Procession Commencement of 
the festa A walk to Nazare Gambling Services in the chapel 
An interesting incident ......... 181 

CHAPTER XX. 

Leave Para for Marajo Voyage Cape Magoary Islands A morning 
scene Arrive at Jungcal A breakfast Birds Vicinity of Jungcal 186 

CHAPTER XXT 

Description of Marajo Cattle Tigers Alligators Snakes Aiitas Wild 
ducks Scarlet ibises Roseate spoonbills Wood ibises Other birds 
Island of Mixiana Indian burial-places Caviana Macapa Bore or 
Pororoca Leave Jungcal for the rookery A sail among the trees Alli- 
gators The rookery Return An alligator's nest Adieu to Jungcal 
Violence of the tide Loading cattle Voyage to Para . . .190 

CHAPTER XXIL 

Want of emigrants and labourers Inducements to settlers, and disadvantages 
Citizenship Import and export duties and taxes Want of circulating 
medium Embarrassments of government Capabilities of the province 
Effect of climate on the whites The blacks Inducements to the 
formation of a steamboat company Seasons Temperature Health 
Superior advantages to invalids Farewell to Para Voyage home 200 



VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. 



CHAPTER I. 

IT was a cold morning, the 9th of February, 1846, that we left 
New York, in the bark Undine, Capt. Appleton, for Para. Our 
fellow-passengers were Mr. Smith, the U. S. Consul of that 
port, his lady, and two young gentlemen, in quest, like ourselves, 
of adventures. Scarcely out of sight of Sandy Hook, a furious 
north-wester burst upon us, and for a week we dashed on before 
it, at a rate to startle a landsman, had not the accompanying- 
motion speedily induced that peculiar state in which one would 
as lief not be as be, and inclined to consider a bed beneath the 
waters as preferable to present torture. But the golden-haired 
spirit at the prow always smiled hopefully, and gallantly the 
noble bark sped onward to calmer waters and warmer skies. 
Here the sea was all loveliness, and, night by night, the scantily 
apparelled sky of the north was disappearing before the as steadily 
advancing brilliance of the tropics. We watched the gradual 
descending of the north star ; and when at last it sank below the 
horizon, it seemed as though an old and familiar friend had de- 
serted us, one whose place was not to be supplied even by the 
splendour of the southern cross. 

By the twentieth day we were near land, to the eastward of 
Salinas, having seen and enjoyed the usual sea-sights. Most 
memorable of these was a sunset, as we lay becalmed. The few 
snow-piled clouds that rested upon the water gradually became 
suffused with flame, and the sea's surface was a sheen of green 
and gold, varying from one colour to the other as the rolling of 
the vessel changed our angle of view. A vapour fringe of rain- 
bow hues circled the horizon, more lovely because rapidly chang- 



2 A VOYAGE DP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. i. 

ing, and beheld, as it were, through an atmosphere of floating 
golden particles. One by one the stars peeped out, and we 
fancied that we could detect a shade of sadness over their beauti- 
ful faces at having come too late. 

"We had seen sharks and brilliant-robed dolphins. A grampus 
had risen under the bow, and flying-fish had repeatedly flown on 
board. Many an hour we had whiled in fishing up gulf-weed, 
and in observing the different species of animals with which it 
was filled. 

As we neared the equator, the water became luminous ; the 
waves were crested with fire ; the vessel's path was one broad 
track of light, and, as we took our shower-bath under the pump, 
liquid flames dashed over us, and even- drop was a splendour. To 
heighten our interest in the phenomenon, a score of porpoises 
were playing about in every direction, their tracks a living flame, 
contorted, zigzag, like fiery serpents. Now they would shoot 
out, rocket-like, leaving trains of thirty feet ; now, darting back, 
pursue each other round and round, till their path appeared a 
tangled skein of light. 

The blue had changed to green ; and long before land was 
visible the green had lost itself in the muddy brown of the 
Amazon. Everywhere were discernible currents, known from 
afar, by their different hues, and by the furious boiling of their 
surfaces. Old Ocean was battling with the King of Rivers. 
Tossed about in the commotion were vast quantities of drift 
wood, fruits, and plants. Huge fish-hawks were lazily flapping 
along. Gulls and terns were screaming. 

In the night, a number of beautifully marked moths, attracted 
by our lights, visited us, and soon after daybreak an inquisitive 
humming-bird came for a peep at the strangers, flitted about us 
a little time, then darted away to his home. 

Salinas is an island at the mouth of the river, conspicuous 
from a distance, owing to its broad, white beach. It is princi- 
pally inhabited by fishermen. We observed a few red-tiled 
houses, and an ancient white church. Here, vessels bound to 
Para usually take a pilot ; but, owing to the vexatious delays 
often experienced, American captains prefer trusting to their own 
skill. Directly at the entrance of the river are two banks, Bra- 
ganza and Tigoca, dreaded by sailors ; beyond these the naviga- 
tion is easy. Para is situated about eighty miles above ; but 



CHAP. I.] ENTRANCE OF THE RIVER. 3 

such is the force of the descending tide and current, that from 
twenty-four to thirty hours are frequently required to overcome 
the short distance. 

It was delightful to find ourselves once more in quiet water, 
and a luxury only appreciable by those who have been rolled 
and pitched about, until every bone seems rheumatic, and every 
muscle jelly-like, to sleep as stilly as on land. We had anchored 
inside the banks : before daybreak we were again advancing ; 
and, that morning, every passenger was early upon the look-out. 
The speedy termination of the voyage put us all in high spirits, 
and impatiently we snuffed the perfumed air that came wafted 
from the yet scarce visible shore. The island of Mara jo gradually 
became distinguishable on the right, its tree-tops but just fringing 
the water. To the left, long, low islands extended to within a 
few miles of the city. All day our course was near these, and to 
one never before conusant of tropical luxuriance, and a truant 
from the wintry skies of the north, everything was enchanting. 

Impervious as a hedge, tall trees shot up their arrow-like 
stems ; broad palm-leaves undulated with every breath. A 
thousand shades of green were enamelled with flowers, in red, 
and white, and gold. The loud notes of the toucans, the shrill 
cries of parrots, greeted our welcome ; and about the vessel twit- 
tered delightedly numbers of martins, the same old friends who 
used, at home, to disturb us in the early morning. Here and 
there, little patches of clearing, and haystack-shaped huts, indi- 
cated the home of some ease-loving Indian. Some of these huts 
consisted merely of a few poles, covered with palm thatch, but, 
occasionally, a delicious little retreat would peep at us through 
the almost concealing shrubbery, surrounded by a grass-plot, and 
overshadowed by the huge leaves of the banana or the feathery 
tufts of the cocoa-tree. In front of one hut, upon a grassy knoll 
facing the river, stood a large cross, designed to warn away any 
evil spirit that should venture there. Happy ones ! none but 
fairies and good angels should be welcome to such a paradise. 

Often we saw men and women walking upon the beach, or 
variously employed, and it was amusing to observe their panto- 
mimic movements. Huge canoes, hollowed from single trees, 
and with mat sails, crept alongshore ; and the first strange voice 
that we had heard since leaving New York hailed us from one of 
these with the friendly " Amigo." 



4 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. n. 

Twenty miles below the city, a number of islands are sprin- 
kled about the channel, one of which was pointed out as the last 
resort of the inhabitants of Para, when the city was sacked by 
the rebel Indians a few years since. Upon that lovely spot of 
green five thousand persons died of exposure and starvation. 

Para is situated upon a little bay, forming a safe anchorage, 
and is visible, from below, a little more than ten miles. At 
about that distance is the Quarantine, not now a terror to tra- 
vellers. Here, a little boat, rigged with two antique triangular 
sails, and manned by negroes bare to the waist, pulled alongside, 
and left with us a custom-house guard, who was to prevent inter- 
course with the shore. 

Night was coming on, but still there was light enough to dis- 
play to our eager eyes the position of the city, nestled in its bed 
of green, and smiled upon by an archipelago of islands. Eain 
commenced pouring, and we were fain to go below. The guard 
at the fort bid us pass on, and by eight we were anchored off 
the custom-house. It was too late for a visit, and we turned in, 
mpatient for the morning. All night long church-bells were 
ringing and clocks striking, and, at intervals, we could distin- 
guish the notes of a bugle or the loud cry of the patrol ; all 
doubly cheerful, after the mournful wailing of the wind through 
the rigging, and the monotonous dashing of the sea, which had 
been our melancholy lullaby for so many weeks. 



CHAPTER II. 

WE had arrived in the midst of the wet season, and all night 
the rain poured incessantly. But as the sun rose the clouds 
broke away, and our first view was rendered still more agreeable 
by the roseate mist that draped the tree-tops and lingered over 
the city. Anchored about us were vessels of various nations 
and strange-looking river craft, under whose thatched roofs -whole 
families seemed to be living, and upon which green parrots and 
macaws were clambering and screaming. 

Canoes, bound to the market, were constantly passing, loaded 
with all kinds of produce. Fine-looking buildings, of three and 



CHAP, n.] PUNTO DE PEDE AS NOVEL SCENE. 5 

four stories' height, faced the water, all yellow in colour, and 
roofed with red tiles. Vast cathedrals and churches, covered 
with the mould of age, shot up their tall spires, their walls and 
roofs affording sustenance and support to venerable mosses and 
shrubs of goodly size. Garden walls were overhung with creeping 
vines, like ancient ruins. Vultures were leisurely wheeling over 
the city, or in clusters upon the house tops, spreading their wings 
to the sun. Mid the ringing of bells and the discharge of rockets, 
a long procession was issuing from the church of San Antonio ; 
and a Babel of sounds from dogs and parrots, and strange tongues, 
came over the water. 

At about nine o'clock the doctor of the port visited us ; and 
soon after an official of the custom-house examined our pass- 
ports, and left with each of us a notification to present ourselves, 
within three days, to the chief of police, and to obtain from him 
a licence of residence. We were then pronounced at liberty to 
go on shore. 

It was low tide, and, as no wharves run out for the convenience 
of vessels, we were obliged to land at the market-place, the 
Punto de Pedras, a long narrow pier. It would be impossible 
to conceive a more utterly novel tableau than here broke upon 
us. It was an introduction, at once, to half that was curious in 
the city. Files of canoes skirt the whole length of the pier, high 
and dry above the water. The more fortunate occupants who have 
sold their wares are variously engaged : some sleeping ; others 
preparing their morning meal ; others combing and arranging 
their luxuriant tresses for even an Indian woman has a little 
vanity ; and others, the most of all, chattering with their neigh- 
bours, or screaming in shrill tones to friends on shore. Here 
are negroes of every shade of colour, from the pure Congo to the 
almost pure white ; some buying, some selling. There stands 
one, with his basket of coarse cotton-cloth and his yard stick ; 
and close by an old wench is squatted by a pot of yellow soup, 
the extract of some palm-nut. Here are strings of inviting fish, 
and piles of less captivating terrapins ; coarse baskets, filled with 
Vigia crabs, the best in the world ; and others of palm-leaves, 
fashioned like a straw reticule, are swelled out with the delicious 
snails. Monkeys, fastened to clogs, entice you to purchase them 
by their antics; and white herons, and various other wild birds, 



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CHAP, ii.] ELECTRICAL EEL ANACONDA. 7 

Amid this profusion, there was nothing to remind us of the 
home that we had left ; but afar off', in one lone corner, stood a 
solitary stalk of Indian corn, lank and lean, an eight-feet spindling, 
clasped nervously by one sorry ear. Poor thing, it spoke touch- 
ingly of exile. 

Passing out of the garden, our next visit was complimentary 
to an eel : not one of the unhallowed denizens of muddy ponds or 
stagnant waters, but an electrical eel, large and handsome, swim- 
ming about in his tub of clear rain water with the grace of a 
water king. This fellow was about four feet in length, and along 
his whole lower part extended a wide fin, by whose curvings he 
appeared to propel himself. We often afterwards amused our 
leisure in observing this eel, and in experimenting upon his elec- 
trical power. This did not seem to be concentrated in any par- 
ticu.ar part or organ, for, touch him where we would, the violence 
of the shock seemed fhe same, and equalled an ordinary shock 
from a machine. When very hungry, or particularly spiteful, 
he would transmit his power through the water to a considerable 
distance. His usual food was crabs, and, when these were thrown 
in to him, he swam towards them, stunned them by a touch of his 
head, and either caught them immediately, or allowed them to fall 
to the bottom of the tub to be devoured at leisure. 

These eels are common in the small streams about Para, and, 
indeed, throughout the whole northern part of the continent, and 
they often attain great size. One that we afterwards saw at 
Senhor Pombo's was about six feet long, and five or six inches in 
diameter. We heard frequent accounts of their power over large 
animals in the water. The negroes catch them by first teazing 
them, until they have exhausted the electrical power. We ate 
of them at different times, but they were too fishy in taste to be 
agreeable without strong correctives. 

Near by was disclosed to us a young anaconda, nicely coiled 
up in the bottom of a barrel, and looking as innocent as a dove. 
This fellow was pointed out as something rather diminutive, but 
to our unfamiliar eyes a snake of ten feet length seemed very 
like a monster. His customary food was rats. These snakes 
are kept about many houses in Pard for protection against rats, 
and two which had escaped from Mr. N orris's barrels now prowled 
at large, and effectually cleared the premises of these vermin. 



8 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. n. 

They are perfectly harmless, and never molest domestic fowls or 
animals upon the premises, excepting now and then a young 
chicken. 

This day was a festival. The saint was popular, business was 
suspended, public offices were closed, and the whole city was 
preparing to do him honour. Such days in Para always end in 
processions, and when, late in the afternoon, the crackling of 
rockets and the sounds of martial music proclaimed the pro- 
cession already formed, we walked to the Rua da Cadeira, the 
Broadway of Para, and took our stand amona: crowds of citizens, 
all apparently as much interested as ourselves in the coming 
events. The balconies above were filled with gaily dressed ladies, 
and bright eyes were impatient to pay their homage to the be- 
nignant saint, or to exact a homage, more sincere, perhaps, from 
their own admirers below. 

Immediately succeeding a fine military band walked a number 
of penitents, wearing crowns of thorns, and almost enshrouded in 
long black veils. It was evident enough that peccadilloes were not 
all confined to the whites, for, below the veils, bared feet displayed 
as many hues as we had seen in the market-place. These penitents 
surrounded a tall banner, borne by one of their number, who stag- 
gered beneath its weight ; a fair penance for many a hearty sin. 

Friars, with corded waists and shaven crowns, and priests in 
long black robes, came next. Little angels followed, bright, 
happy things, and beautiful, as though they had come down to 
cheer the present sufferings of the weary one who bore his 
cross behind. Each wore upon her head a crown of flowers, 
and exquisite devices decked her white gauze dress, "\\~injrs 
of a butterfly, or some shorn Cupid, told how she came; she 
bore a wine-cup in her hand, and, as she stepped, tiny bells 
sent out low music. She was unaccustomed to our rough walks 
here, and, at her side, a seraph boy guided her faltering steps. 

Then came the Christ, bending beneath the heavy cross. The 
crowd was stilled, the Host passed by, and respect or adoration 
was testified by raised hat or bended knee. 

A number of other figures succeeded, and the line was closed 
by the troops. A few whites followed, curious as ourselves ; but 
the whole negro and Indian population were drawn along, as a 
matter of course. Nearly all the negro women were profusely 



CHAP, m.] FOUNDING OF PARA. 9 

ornamented with gold, partly the fruit of their own savings, and 
often the riches of their lady mistresses, who lend them willingly 
upon such occasions. Some wore chains of gold beads, passing 
several times about the neck, and sustaining a heavy golden 
cross. All wore ear-rings, and the elder women, both black and 
Indian, overtopped their heads by huge tortoiseshell combs. The 
Indian girls, who were in large numbers, were almost always 
beautiful, with regular features, fine forms, black lustrous eyes, 
and luxuriant locks that fell over their shoulders. Many women 
carried upon their heads trays, covered with a neat towel, and 
well provided with temptations to errant coin. 

At intervals along the street were little buildings, in which 
temporary altars were fitted up in all the glare and gaudiness of 
wax candles and tinsel. Every one raised his hat upon passing 
these, and the more devout knelt before them, depositing some 
coin at their departure. 

In the evening the churches were brilliantly lighted, and in 
the alcoves, before the images of the saint, knelt crowds of ladies, 
the elite of Para. At each altar priests officiated, their attention 
much distracted between the fair penitents at their side and the 
dulcet tones in the money-plate before them. 

Another procession, by torch-light, closed the exercises, and 
at last, wearied with sight-seeing, we wended our way home- 
ward, to the embrace of luxurious hammocks, that gently re- 
ceived us without the usual misadventure of the uninitiated and 
uncautioned. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE popular name of this city, Para, is derived from the river, 
its proper designation being Belem, or Bethlehem. Caldeira, in 
1615, entered what he supposed to be the main Amazon, and 
learning from the natives that this was, in their language, the 
King of Waters, called it, appropriately, Para ; or rather, to 
hallow it by a Christian baptism, the Gram Para. Continuing up 
the river, this adventurer at last fixed upon a site, near the 
junction of several streams, now known as the Guama, the 
Acard, and the Mojii, for a city that should thereafter be a 



10 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. ra. 

glory to our Lady of Belem. Our Lady is still the patron saint, 
but the name of her city is almost entirely forgotten in that of Para, 

We will not recount the long series of events that have trans- 
pired since Caldeira here first planted the cross. They would be 
of little interest to the general reader, and we prefer to look at 
the city as it now is, merely making such allusions to the past 
as shall serve to render description more intelligible. 

The only event that requires particular mention is the Re- 
volution of 1835 and the following year. The President of the 
jrovince was assassinated, as were very many private individuals 
of respectability, and the city was in possession of the insurgent 
troops, assisted by designing whites and Indians. All the citi- 
zens who could fled for their lives ; many to Portugal, and many 
to the United States and England. The whole province, with 
the exception of the town of Cameta, upon the Tocantins, fell 
into the hands of the rebels, and everywhere the towns were 
sacked, cities despoiled, cattle destroyed, and slaves carried 
away. The rebels were constantly quarrelling among them- 
selves, and several presidents succeeded each other. At last, 
after this state of anarchy had continued nearly eighteen months, 
President Andrea arrived from Rio Janeiro with a sufficient 
force, and succeeded, without much difficulty, in recovering pos- 
session of the city. One by one the inland towns returned to 
their allegiance. The disastrous effect of these disturbances is 
still felt, and a feeling of present insecurity is very general, but 
still Para has fully recovered her former position, and may retain 
it if the provincial government guides itself with sufficient 
discretion. 

The whole Amazonian region is low, and the site of the city 
boasts no advantage in this respect, being at most but a few feet 
above the level of the river at flood-tide. Everywhere nature 
displays the most exuberant fertility, and this, which, in most 
countries between the tropics, is a prolific source of pestilence 
and death, is here so modified by other elements as to be a bless- 
ing. During the rainy season, when, for several months, rain 
falls daily, and for several weeks almost incessantly, the surface 
of the ground is never long covered with water ; for, so sandy 
is the soil, that no sooner have the clouds broken away than the 
waters have disappeared, and, excepting the bright jewels that 



CHAP, in.] CLIMATE FORM OF THE CITY. 11 

sparkle profusely upon every leaf, little else remains to tell of 
the furious outpourings of the previous hour. During what is 
termed the dry season, from June to December, more or less 
rain falls weekly, and vegetation is never disrobed of her peren- 
nial green. The steady trade-winds from the East come fraught 
with invigorating sea-air tempering the fierce sun- heat, making 
the nights of a delightful coolness, and preventing that languor 
of feeling so inseparable from the equatorial climes of the East. 

Old traditions, handed down as applicable to modern times by 
all-knowing Encyclopedists, represent the climate of Para as 
having been unhealthy, but in some respects improved of late 
years. These reports probably arose from the injudicious method 
of living introduced by the earlier colonists, and persevered in 
until experience taught them to accommodate their habits to the 
clime. But of late years they have been studiously detailed and 
exaggerated by monopolizing mercantile houses; and when we 
desired to venture to the country of the Amazon, it was next to 
impossible to obtain any sort of information relative to Para 
except a general report of heat and unhealthiness. I shall speak 
more of this hereafter, with reference to the singularly superior 
advantages which Para presents to invalids. 

The whole city is laid out in squares, and, from the peculiar 
manner in which it is built, covers a much larger area than, 
from its population of fifteen thousand, one would suppose: 
Near the river, and in the part more especially devoted to busi- 
ness, the houses adjoin upon streets of convenient width ; but 
elsewhere, each square is usually the residence of but one pro- 
prietor, who here enjoys all the advantages of both city and 
country. These residences are termed rosinhas. Fruit-trees, of 
every variety common to the clime, mingle with beautiful 
flowers, and it requires but little taste in the master or ladies of 
the mansion to embower themselves in a paradise. Most of 
these houses are but of one story, built upon two or three sides 
of a square, covering a great area, and containing numerous 
lofty and well-ventilated rooms. Very often, the entire flooring 
is of neat square tiles. A broad verandah offers both shelter 
and shade, and here, in delicious coolness, the meals of the day 
are enjoyed. 

The city proper consists* of houses of every height, from one to 



12 A VOYAGE UP TttE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. in. 

four stories, strongly resembling each other in external appear- 
ance. All are yellow-washed or white-washed, and ornamented 
by mouldings about doors and windows. The building materials 
are small stones cemented in mortar ; and such is the durability 
of construction, that unfinished walls in different parts of the 
city, exposed for years to the action of the elements, show no 
sign of crumbling or decay. Of course coolness is the great ob- 
ject aimed at, and therefore in the centre of the house is usually 
an open square from top to bottom, serving to keep up a constant 
current of air. Doors are all wide, and windows rarely glazed. 
Generally, near the river, the lower part of the house is occupied 
as a store or wareroom, the upper stories being the residence of 
the family. 

In front of upper windows opening upon the street are iron 
balconies, favourite stands of the inmates, who here spend hours, 
in the cooler parts of the day, in observing the parsers below, 
and sometimes, it is to be feared, coquetting with correspondents 
over the way. It strikes one strangely that necessity has not 
introduced the fashion of shaded balconies as a protection from 
the sun ; but there are none such, and in positions sheltered from 
the sea-breeze the mid-day heat is excessive. 

The lower houses in the more retired streets are mostly dwell- 
ings, and the windows of these are always covered by a close 
lattice, or jalousie, through whose bars dark eyes may flash upon 
passers-by unblushingly. 

The streets are without side-walks, and are badly paved with 
irregular stones, which render walking excessively fatiguing, 
and rapid riding perilous. 

In different parts of the city are public squares, called Lar- 
gos. The more prominent are the Largo da Palacio (of the 
palace), da Polvora (of powder), and da Quartel (of the 
barracks). The first of these is very spacious, and might be 
made an ornament to the palace and the city. As it is, it is 
neither more nor less than a dirty common, uneven in surface, 
spotted in the wet season with puddles of water, and unshaded 
by a single tree. Miserable half-starved sheep, parti-coloured 
as goats, and libels on the ovine race, glean a poor subsistence 
from the coarse rank grass. The walk across this Largo to the 
palace was of rough stone, and, when we first crossed it, both 



CHAP, in.] LARGOS PUBLIC BUILDINGS CHURCHES. 13 

daylight and dexterity were requisite ; but I am happy to say 
that before we bade adieu to Para preparations were making 
for an avenue more consistent with the dignity of the govern- 
ment. 

Upon the Largo da Polvora formerly stood the powder-house, 
now removed to a distance from the city. Here trees were once 
planted by President Andrea, but, with merely exceptions enough 
to show what a public blessing their preservation would have 
proved, they have now disappeared. Near this Largo are the 
principal wells, whence is supplied the water for the city, and 
about which may be seen, at any time, scores of negro women 
engaged in washing and bleaching clothes. 

The Largo da Quartel is of small extent, fronting the bar- 
racks, a long, low building, where Indian recruits are drilled 
into civilization and shape. In the centre of this Largo is a 
well, about the curb of which numbers of considerate wenches 
rest their weary water-jars, and with a painful self-denial, gossip 
and gesticulate all day long upon the affairs of the town. 

The public buildings of Para are conspicuous objects, both in 
number and size far beyond the present wants of the city ; but 
wisely built for posterity, and the future inevitable magnitude of 
the depot of the Amazon. Even so long ago as 1685, when the 
population numbered but five hundred, there existed " a Mother 
Church, a Jesuit College, a Franciscan, a Carmelite, and a Mer- 
cenario Convent, two Churches, a Chapel, and a Misericordia or 
Hospital." The cherished hopes of the Jesuits have not yet 
been fulfilled, but " already is heard the sound of the multitude 
that is coming to take possession of the valley." 

The Jesuit college has now become an ecclesiastical seminary ; 
and the convents, long since deserted of friars, save two or three 
old Franciscans, have been turned to profaner uses. That of the 
Carmelites, is now the palace of the assembly ; the vast pile of 
the Mercenaries has become the custom-house ; and still another 
is the arsenal. All these edifices are in good preservation, and 
the bright green moss, which everywhere has climbed the roofs 
and traced the facings, in no wise detracts from their picturesque 
appearance. 

The palace, built about the middle of the last century, when 
Portugal looked to the Amazon as the scene of her future glory, 
is commensurate, in size and massiveness, with the anticipated 



14 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. ra. 

necessities of the empire. It is of the same style of architecture 
as the Portuguese houses generally, and can scarcely be called 
either grand or beautiful. 

In the rear of the palace stands the unfinished theatre, 
now overgrown with shrubs and close-embracing vines ; a far 
greater ornament to the city than it could have been in its 
finished state. 

The cathedral stands near the palace, upon the southern side 
of the Largo the vastest edifice of the kind in Brazil. Twin 
steeples tower aloft, from whose many bells issue most of those 
chimes that may be heard at almost any hour. 

Near the arsenal, and sufficiently removed to be no nuisance 
to the city, is the public slaughter-house, where are received all 
the cattle destined for the Para market. Strangers usually 
walk in that direction, to observe the immense congregation of 
vultures that are here to be seen, labouring lustily for the public 
health. 

There are a number of pleasant walks within and around the 
city. The most agreeable by far of the former is the Rua da 
Manfjabeiras, a long avenue, crossed at right angles by a similar 
rua, and both thickly skirted by mangabeira-trees. This tree 
attains a vast size, and throws out a more widely spreading top 
than most Brazilian forest-trees. Its bark is a singular combina- 
tion of colours, between green and gray ; and is of a lustrous 
smoothness. The ripened fruit hangs over the branches large 
red pods, the size of a cocoa-nut, and containing a yellowish 
silky cotton. In the months of March and April these trees 
are divested of their leaves ; and everywhere mingle in profusion 
the ripened fruit, and the large, white, crown-like flowers. 
Later in the season the flowers have given place in turn to a 
most luxuriant foliage ; and when the sun strikes mercilessly 
upon every spot else, here all is coolness and repose. Paro- 
quets, ravenously fond of the cotton-seeds, are everywhere chat- 
tering among the branches ; and the brilliant cicadas chirp 
grateful thanks to him who planted for them this delightful 
home. From adjacent thickets come the warblings of many 
birds ; and the stranger, haply unacquainted with the Brazilian 
melodists, startles as he hears the liquid trill of the blue bird, 
the joyful song of the robin, and the oriole's mellow whistle. 
It is a delusion ; but the familiar tones sound none the less 



CHAP, m.] NAZARE- MR. HENDERSON'S PLANTATION. 15 

delightfully from the throats of these southern cousins, than when 
uttered amid the groves and by the streams of our own home. 

The Rua da Mangabeiras is deservedly a favourite walk in 
summer, and in the early morning, or after sunset, it is constantly 
thronged with groups of joyous citizens. 

Another delightful walk, as well as the usual route for eques- 
trians, is towards Nazare, distant about two miles from the palace, 
and one mile from the city. Here is a little chapel dedicated to 
the service of our Lady of Nazareth, and looking like some 
fairy's palace, on its spot of green, embowered in the native 
forest. Our Lady of Nazareth is the peculiar patroness of the 
sick, the afflicted, and the desolate ; and here the soul-saddened 
penitent may find quiet, far away from the crowded shrines of the 
city. At the entrance of the square a number of seats invite the 
weary. A tall white pillar, standing near, records, probably, 
some event connected with theplace, but the inscription is nearly 
illegible. 

With our friend Captain Appleton, who is a most zealous 
conchologist, and well acquainted with all the shell-haunts in the 
vicinity, we used often to take this route, and upon the trees in 
various localities found as many specimens as we cared for. 
These were principally of three varieties : the Bulimus regius, 
Bulimus glabra, and the Auricula clausa. Continuing on 
through the forest, at about a mile beyond Nazare, is the plant- 
ation of Mr. Henderson, a Scotch gentleman, who, having a 
taste for agricultural pursuits, is endeavouring to show the 
planters of the country' the difference between a scientific cul- 
tivation and their own slovenly and inefficient mode of farming. 
Amongst other novelties, Mr. H. has introduced a plough, the 
only one in the province of Para. He has devoted particular 
attention to the cultivation of grasses for hay, and his meadows 
looked as freshly, and produced as fine grass, as those of New 
England. What with the delightful reception of Mr. Henderson, 
and the lesser attractions of scenery and flowers, butterflies and 
shells, we took many a stroll this way. 

But there was no pleasanter place wherein to while an hour 
than a rosinha, and as our friend Mr. Smith was proprietor of 
one of the most extensive within a ten minutes' walk of our icsi- 
dence, we used often to visit him, and amuse ourselves among his 



16 A VOYAGE UP TJJE RTVEB AMAZON. [CHAP. in. 

trees. This rosin ha was of about an acre's extent. Down the 
middle ran a broad walk, covered by an arbour, which \vas pro- 
fuselv overrun by the Grenadilla passion-flower. This produces a 
yellow fruit, about the size and shape of an egg, within which is 
a pleasant acid pulp. 

On either side the arbour were coffee-trees. These are planted at 
a distance of about ten feet apart, and being prevented from grow- 
ing more than five feet high, by constant trimming of their tops, 
they throw out very many lateral branches. The flowers are 
white, and, at the flowering season, ornament the plant beau- 
tifully. The leaves are about six inches in length, broad, and of 
a rich and glossy green. The berries grow upon the under side of 
the limbs, and at first are green, but when matured of a deep red. 
Within each are two kernels, and the whole is surrounded by a 
sweet, thin pulp. When the ripe berries are exposed to the sun, 
this pulp dries, and is then removed by hand or by a mill. The 
trees produce in two or three years after being planted. Formerly 
the quantity of coffee raised in the vicinity of Para was sufficient 
for a large exportation, and it was celebrated for its superior 
flavour : now it is imported, so many planters having turned their 
attention to other produce, or to the collecting of rubber. 

There were also large patches of ananas, or pine-apples, which 
plant is too well known to require description. This fruit is 
often raised in these rosinhas of great size. One which we saw 
upon the table of the British Consul, soon after our landing, 
weighed nineteen pounds, and was considered nothing extra- 
ordinary, although at that time out of the season. 

A number of large orange-trees were always interesting to us, 
inasmuch as at every season they clustered with ripe fruit, not 
the shrivelled or sour specimens seen in New York, but of great 
size and luscious sweetness. Oranges in this climate are to be 
considered rather as a necessity than a luxury ; their cooling 
nature renders them unspeakably grateful, and they are, without 
doubt, an antidote to many diseases incident to a torrid clime. 
Every one uses them unstintingly, and when an old gentleman, 
upon the Upper Amazon, told us that he always settled his break- 
fast with a dozen oranges, he described, with little hyperbole, the 
custom of the country. 

There were also many lime-trees ; and these resemble in general 



EHAP. in.] TREES AND FRUITS. 17 



appearance the orange, excepting that they are of smaller growth. 
The acid of limes is more pleasant than vinegar, and they are 
always used as a substitute for this upon the table. They are 
much used in composing a drink, and make the best of preserves. 

The most beautiful trees were the mango and the ochee, whose 
densely leaved tops much resemble each other. Their leaves are 
very long and narrow, and of a dark glossy green ; but when 
young they are of several shades, dull white, pink, and red, and 
the commingling of hues is very beautiful. The mango is es- 
teemed one of the finest fruits; it is the size of a large lemon, 
and of a green colour. Beneath the skin is a yellow pulp, which 
surrounds a large stone. During our stay mangoes were tem- 
porarily unpopular among the lower classes, from a belief that 
to them was owing the appearance of a disease called the leprosy. 

The ochee is smaller than the mango, and of a yellow colour ; 
it contains a sweet, pleasant pulp. 

Another interesting tree was the inga, although for a very 
different reason than its beauty ; it bears a profusion of small 
white flowers, very fragrant, and the attraction of humming- 
birds, which might at any time be seen rifling their sweets, in a 
great variety of species. The fruit of the inga is a pod, of a foot 
or more in length, and an inch in diameter. It contains a sweet, 
white pulp, imbedded in which are long seeds. The paroquets 
are very fond of this pulp, and they come to the trees in great 
flocks, clustering upon the pods, and tearing them open with 
their strong beaks. 

There were trees bearing another esteemed fruit, the alligator 
pear, or mangaba. Of these there are two varieties : one, the 
more common, green in colour, and shaped like a crook-necked 
squash, but of greatly reduced size ; the other, considered the 
better species, is called the mangaba da Cayenne, and is of the 
ordinary pear shape, and of a purplish red colour. In the centre 
is a large stone, and the substance about this is soft and marrow- 
like ; it is eaten with wine and sugar, and to our taste was the 
finest fruit in the province. It is said to be the only fruit that cats 
will eat, and they are extremely fond of it. 

The biraba, or custard-apple, is no bad representative of the 
delicacy of which its name is suggestive ; it is about the size of a 
cocoa-nut, covered by a thin, rough skin, and contains a white 
pulp, which is eaten with a spoon. 



18 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP, iv 

Here was growing a cactus, in size a tree ; and numerous 
flowering shrubs, some known to us as greenhouse plants, and 
others entirely new, were scattered over the premises. Cape jessa- 
mines grew to large shrubs and filled the air with fragrance ; 
oleanders shot up to a height of twenty feet, loaded with flowers ; 
and altheas, in like manner, presented clusters of immense size 
and singular beauty. Here also was a tree covered with large 
white flowers, shaped like so many butterflies ; and there were a 
host of others, of which we could admire the beauty, although 
not knowing the names. 



CHAPTER IV. 

WITHIN the three days limited in our notification, we had called 
upon the chief of police for a licence of residence, which was 
furnished us gratuitously. This officer was one of the many 
examples that we met with of the disregard paid to colour, 
in public or private life, throughout the country. He is con- 
sidered the second officer of the Provincial Government, and, 
like the President, receives his appointment directly from Rio 
Janeiro. 

In passing our chattels through the custom-house also we had 
not experienced the least difficulty or annoyance, the officers dis- 
charging their duties in the most gentlemanly manner; and, at 
all times, in our intercourse with officers of the Government, we 
found them extremely polite and obliging, and generally they 
were men of intelligence and education. 

The President, with three Vice-Presidents, constitute the 
Executive of the Province. Assemblies of deputies, chosen by 
the people, meet at stated seasons at Para, to regulate provincial 
matters. They have a greater licence, in some respects, than the 
corresponding branches of our State Governments, such as the 
imposing of tariffs and the like, but their acts are referred to Rio 
Janeiro for confirmation. 

The judges of the various districts, who are also chiefs of police, 
are appointed at Rio, but the justices of the peace are chosen by 
the people. 

The church establishment of Para is not very large, when the 
wants of the whole province are considered ; but as by far the 



CHAP, iv.] CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT TROOPS. 19 

larger portion of the padres never go beyond the city, their number 
seems disproportionate. One meets them at every step, and pro- 
bably five hundred is not an exaggeration. Of these, many are 
novitiates in different stages of preparation, and the grades are 
readily distinguished by their differences of dress. Since convents 
have become unpopular, the old race of friars have almost, 
disappeared ; still a few are seen, and a small number of others 
are among the Indians of the interior. The clergy are, of course, 
very efficient patrons of the three-and-thirty holidays, besides 
divers festivals extraordinary, that diversify the Brazilian year. 

Near the ecclesiastical seminary is the school for young ladies, 
under the supervision of the sisters of some of the religious 
societies. Here a great number of young ladies from various 
parts of the province receive education in the simpler branches, 
and in what would be called "the finishing" of a New York 
boarding-school. 

The Catholic is the established religion of the state, but all 
religions are tolerated. There is no other sect in Para ; and pro 
bably within the province, out of the city, preaching of any other 
denomination was never heard. 

The regular troops of the empire are collected in this province 
in great strength, on account of the revolutionary spirit of the 
people. Every morning they are paraded upon the Largo da 
Palacio until eight o'clock, and then marched down the llua da 
Cadeira to the music of a fine band. They are out upon every 
public occasion, taking part in every procession. They are, more- 
over, the police of the city, and in discharge of their duties are 
seen scattered throughout the day along the pier and streets, and 
guarding the doors of all public offices. Night police, as well 
as day police, they take their stations in the early evening about 
the city, and at every hour their loud cries disturb the sleepers. 

Upon Sundays these troops are freed from duty, and the Na- 
tional Guard take their places on parade or at the sentry. This 
guard, one would suppose, formed a far more efficient force than 
the regular army the one composed, as it is, of native Brazilians, 
the other a heterogeneous compounding of white and black, yellow, 
red, and brown. The Indian seems to predominate, however, and 
it might be questionable how far his courage would carry him, 
once led into action. 

c 2 



20 A VOYAGE UP TtiE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. iv. 

During the last few years the enrolment of Indians has been 
carried to an unprecedented extent, through apprehension of re- 
newed disturbances. Since 1836 ten thousand young men are 
said to have been carried to the south, to the incalculable injury 
of the agricultural interest. As might be supposed, all this en- 
listment has not been voluntary. The police are constantly upon 
the alert for recruits, and the instant that a poor fellow sets foot 
within the city he is spirited away unless some protecting white 
is there to intercede in his behalf. We frequently fell in with 
cottages in the vicinity of the city, whose only occupants were 
women and children, the men having in this way disappeared. 
Most of the market-boats also are managed by women, the men 
often stopping a,t some convenient place above, and there awaiting 
the boat's return. 

It is an amusing sight to watch these Indian recruits during 
their earlier drillings upon the Largo, encumbered with oppres- 
sive clothes, high leathern stocks beneath their chins, and a wil- 
derness of annoying straps about their bodies. Their countenances 
are models of resignation, or of apathetic indifference, when the 
drill officer has his eye upon them ; but when that eye is averted, 
the nervous twitching, and the half-suppressed curses with which 
they wipe the beaded sweat from their brows, would be ludicrous 
enough could one overcome a feeling of pity at the predicament 
of the poor devils. 

Free negroes are very apt to be caught in the same trap, and 
then negroes and Indians together spend their leisure hours off 
drill in the lock-up, until, between the principles of honour 
therein imbibed, and the ardour of military glory excited, they 
can be considered trustworthy, and suffered to go at large. Most 
free negroes avoid this career of greatness, by nominally still be- 
longing to their old master, or some other willing protector. 

There are no inns at Para for public accommodation. The 
people from the country do not require them, each having friends 
in the city, or conveniences for living on board his vessel. 
Strangers visiting the port are usually provided with introduc- 
tory letters to some of the citizens, and are received with the most 
generous hospitality. There are various cafes, where a good cup 
of coffee or chocolate may always be obtained ; but these are not 
very much patronized. Both natives and foreigners, engaged in 



CHAP, iv.] MANNER OF LIVING MECHANICS. 21 

business, provide at their own tables for their clerks, or others 
connected with them in business a system productive of mutual 
advantages. 

A great proportion of the foreigners in the city are from the 
United States and Great Britain, and these form among them- 
selves a delightful little society. 

The people of the town are native-born Brazilians and Por- 
tuguese, often well educated, generally intelligent, and always 
polite. Of the lower classes very many are Portuguese or Moorish 
Jews, who obtain a livelihood by trafficking with the smaller river 
craft, by adulterating produce, and by various other expedients in 
which the people of that nation are expert. 

Most gentlemen residing in the city have also estates in the 
country, to which they retire during summer. Their mode of 
living is very simple, and in congeniality with the clime. Two 
meals a-day are considered quite sufficient, and late suppers are 
entirely avoided. 

Most of the business of the day is transacted in the early 
morning ; and when the noon's heat is beating, " all," as they 
say, " but Englishmen and dogs," are taking a siesta in their 
hammocks. The cool evening, lovely and brilliant, calls out 
every one ; and a round of pleasure encroaches far into the night. 
Parties and balls are constantly being given, and all over the 
city is heard the light music of the guitar and the sounds of 
the joyous dance. Upon the last Saturday evening of each 
month is a public subscription ball, and Para's beauties are there 
in all the fascination of flashing eyes, and raven hair, and airy 
movements. Sometimes a theatrical company ventures into this 
remote region, and for a while the new prima donna is all the rage. 

The mechanics of the city are mostly Portuguese, and have all 
the proverbial industry of their nation. A shoemaker who lived 
opposite us used to be rather annoying in this respect ; pegging 
away at all hours of the night, and not sparing time to breathe, 
even on Sundays. 

Owing to the imperfection or entire absence of machinery, 
the labour of an artisan is far more toilsome than with us, and 
he compensates the diiference by something more than propor- 
tionate slowness. The cabinet-maker has to saw his materials 
from the log in his own shop, and two or more boys, lazily 



22 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. iv. 

pulling away at a pit-saw, are always a part of his fixtures. So 
with other trades. Such a state of things would be excessively 
annoying anywhere else, but these people are accustomed to it, 
probably dream of nothing better, and are well content to jog on 
in the safe and sure path by which their ancestors (God rest them !) 
moved forward to glory. 

There is this deficiency throughout the province with respect 
to every sort of labour-saving machinery ; and although now 
and then some individual of extraordinary enterprise has intro- 
duced improvements from other countries, and although the 
government allows new patents of machinery to be entered with- 
out a duty, yet the mass of proprietors know nothing of them. 
The introduction of machinery would compensate in a great 
degree the depressing scarcity of labourers, for want of whom 
this garden of the world lies desolate. 

Very many of the apprentices in the shops are Indian boys, 
and, to facilitate the acquisition of trades by these, the govern- 
ment 'supports a school, where, in addition to the common 
branches of education, fifty Indian boys are instructed in various 
trades. This institution owes its existence to President Andrea, 
who seems to have had concentrated in him more benevolence 
and public spirit than a score of those who preceded or suc- 
ceeded him in office. It is to him that the city is indebted for 
the Rua da Mangabeiras, and this alone should immortalize a 
man in Para. 

The absence of horses and carts, together with the universal 
custom of carrying burdens upon, the head, seem at first an 
oddity to a stranger. In this manner the heaviest as well as the 
lightest, the most fragile as well as any other, travels with equal 
safety to its destination. For the convenience of vessels there 
are two companies of blacks, each numbering thirty men, who 
are regular carriers ; and their noisy cries are heard every 
morning, as, in the full tide of some wild song, they trot off 
beneath incredible burdens. 

Everywhere are seen about the streets young women, blacks 
or Indians, bearing upon their heads large trays of doces, or 
sweetmeats and cakes, for sale. These things are made by their 
mistresses, and are thus marketed. Nor do the first ladies of the 
city consider it beneath their dignity thus to traffic, and we 



CHAP, iv.] REARING OF CHILDREN FOOD. 23 

heard of some notable examples where the money received for 
the doces had accumulated to independent fortunes. From 
similar large trays, other women are huckstering every variety 
of vegetables or fruits ; and not unfrequently meets the ear the 
cry of as-sy-ee, the last syllable prolonged to a shrill scream. 
What assai may be we shall soon explain. 

In a morning walk, in any direction, one encounters scores of 
blacks, men and women, bearing huge water-jars to and from the 
different wells which are tlie supply of the city. These jars are 
porous, and, being placed in a current of air, the water attains a 
delightful coolness. This custom was borrowed by the early 
settlers from the Indians, and is universal. In various parts of 
the house are smaller jars, called bilhas (beelyas), by the side of 
which stands a large tumbler, for the general convenience. 

The habit of carrying burdens upon the head contributes to 
that remarkable straightness and perfection of form observed in 
all these blacks and Indians. Malformation or distortion of any 
kind is rarely encountered. This is doubtless owing in a great 
degree to the manner of rearing children. Everywhere are to 
be seen swarms of little boys and girls, unrestrained by any 
clothing whatever, and playing in the dirt with goats and dogs. 
This exposure to the sun produces its natural effect, and these 
little people, blacks and whites, are burned into pretty nearly 
the same tint ; but they grow up with vigour of constitution and 
beauty of form. The latter, however, is sometimes ludicrously 
modified by a great abdominal protrudence, the effect of constant 
stuffing with farinha. It is very unusual to hear a child cry. 
The higher classes in the city are more careful of their children ; 
but in the country the fashion of slight investment prevails, and at 
the Barra of the Rio Negro the little son and heir of the chief 
official dignitary was in full costume, with a pair of shoes and a cane. 

The food of all the lower classes throughout the province con- 
sists principally offish and farinha. The former is the dried and 
salted periecu of the Amazon ; the latter a preparation from the 
mandioca-root. This plant, botanically, is the Jatropha Mani- 
hot, known in the West Indies as cassava. The stalk is tall 
and sUnder, and is divided into short joints, each one of which 
when placed in the ground takes root and becomes a separate 
plant. The leaves are palm ated with six and seven lobes. The 



24 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. ^CHAP. iv. 

tubers are shaped much like sweet potatoes, and are a foot or 
more in length. They are divested of their thick rind and grated 
upon stones ; after which the mass is placed in a slender bag of 
rattan six feet in length ; to this a large stone is appended, and, 
the consequent extension producing a contraction of the sides, the 
juice is expressed. The juice is said to be poisonous, but is 
highly volatile. The last operation is the drying, which is 
effected in large iron pans, the preparation being constantly 
stirred. "When finished it is called farinha. or flour, and is of a 
white or brown colour according to the care taken. In appear- 
ance it resembles dried crumbs of bread. It is packed in loose 
baskets lined with palm-leaves, and in the bulk of eighty pounds, 
or an alquier. Farinha is the substitute for bread and for vege- 
tables. The Indians and blacks eat vast quantities of it, and its 
swelling in the stomach produces that distention noticed in the 
children. 

Tapioca is made from the same plant, and is the starchy 
matter deposited by the standing juice. 

The rivers are filled with varieties of fine fish, but in the city 
many other articles of diet are considered preferable. From 
Vigia, and below towards the coast, crabs and oysters are brought 
at certain seasons in great abundance. The former particularly 
are noticeable for their large size and superior flavour ; but the 
oysters, though of prodigious size, can in no way be compared 
with their relatives of the north. They are found in large 
clusters about the roots of the mangroves. 

The great dependence of the Para, market is beef. Upon 
Marajo, and neighbouring islands, vast herds of cattle roam the 
carnpo, and large canoes are constantly engaged in transporting 
them to the city. But often they are poor when taken, and the 
passage from the islands averaging from four days to a week, 
during which time they have little to drink and nothing at all 
to eat, those who survive are but skin and bone. Killed in this 
state, it may readily be imagined that Para beef is deficient in 
some points considered as excellences in the Fulton market. 
It is cut up in shapeless pieces without any pretence at skill. 
The usual method of preparing it for the table is to boil it, such 
a dish as legitimate roast beef or steak being unheard of. 

Very few potatoes of any sort are seen ; the principal vege- 



CHAP, iv.] FRUITS. 25 

tables for the table being rice, fried plantains, and an excellent 
variety of squash called jurumu. 

It is in fruits that Para excels ; and here is a long catalogue, 
many of which are common to adjacent countries, within the 
tropics, and many others peculiar to this province. Of many of 
these we have already spoken, but there are two or three others 
which deserve mention, and first of these are the plantain and 
pacova, or banana. These fruits resemble each other excepting 
in size, the former being of about eight inches length, the latter 
in its varieties from three to five or six. The producing tree is 
one of the most beautiful of the palms, the coronal leaves being 
six feet in length by two broad, and gracefully drooping around 
the trunk ; the fruit hangs in clusters about a stalk depending 
from the top of the plant. While still green the stalk is cut off 
and the fruit is suffered to ripen in the shade. The plantains 
are generally prepared for eating by being cut in longitudinal 
slices and fried in fat ; but when roasted in the ashes are ex- 
tremely pleasant, and reminded us strongly of roasted apples. 
The pacovas are eaten raw, and are agreeable and nutritious. 
They are raised without difficulty from cuttings, and are the ever 
present attendant of the gentleman's garden or the Indian's hut. 
Their yield, when compared with other plants, is prodigious, 
being, according to Humboldt, to wheat as one hundred and 
thirty-three to one, and to potatoes as forty-four to one. 

Cocoa-palms are abundant upon the plantations, and are con- 
spicuous from their long, feather-like leaves, and the large clus- 
ters of nuts which surround their tops. The nuts are generally 
eaten when young, before the pulp has attained hardness. 

From various palm-fruits are prepared substances in great 
request among different classes of people ; but most delightful 
of all is that from the Euterpe edulis, known as assai, or, more 
familiarly, as was-sy-ee. This palm grows to a height of from 
thirty to forty feet, with a stem scarcely larger than one's arm. 
From the top a number of long leaves, their webs cut, as it 
were, into narrow ribbons, are waving in the wind. Below the 
leaves one, two, and rarely three stems put forth, at first enclosed 
in a spatha or sheath, resembling woven bark. This falling off, 
there is disclosed a tree-like stalk with divergent limbs in every 
direction, covered with green berries, the size of marbles ; these 



86 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

soon turn purple, and are fully ripe. Flocks of toucans, parrots, 
and other fruit-loving birds, are first to discover them ; but there 
are too many for even the birds. The fruit is covered by a thick 
skin, beneath which, imbedded in a very slight pulp, is the stone. 
Warm water is poured on to loosen the skin, and the berries are 
briskly rolled together in a large vessel. The stones are thrown 
out, the liquid is strained off the skins, and there is left a thick, 
cream-like substance of a purple colour. Sugar is added, and 
fariiiha to slightly thicken it. To a stranger the taste is usually 
disagreeable, but soon it becomes more prized than all fruits 
beside, and is as much a necessity as one's dinner. 



CHAPTER V. 

ODR first excursion to any distance was to the Rice-mills at 
Magoary, only twelve miles from Para by land, and two tides, or 
about ten hours, by water. The overland route being in many 
respects inconvenient, we determined to venture in one of the 
canoes always in readiness for such excursions near the Punto 
da Pedras, and for this purpose engaged a fair-looking craft with 
a covered and roomy cabin, and manned by two whites and a 
negro. Leaving the city in the middle of the afternoon, we took 
advantage of the ebbing tide, and by dark had entered the 
stream which was to carry us to our destination. But our two 
white sailors were lazy scoundrels, and we did not feel sufficiently 
acquainted with the language, or accustomed to the ways of the 
country, to give them the scolding they deserved. This they 
knew enough to comprehend, and the consequence was that we 
lost the flood-tide which should have carried us up, and were 
obliged to anchor and spend the night on board. One of these 
men was an old salt, battered and worn ; the other was a young 
fellow of twenty, with a good-looking face and nut-brown skin, 
wearing upon his head a slouched felt hat. and, altogether the 
very image of peasant figures seen in Spanish paintings. Not at 
all disturbed by our dissatisfied looks and ominous grumblings, 
they coolly stretched themselves out upon the seats, and started up 
a wild song, the burden of which was of love and the dark-eyed 



CHAP, v.] NIGHT UPON THE WATER RICE-MILLS. 27 

girls they had left behind them in the city. It was a lovely 
night, and the music and other gentle influences soon restored 
our good humour, and we felt at last inclined to forgive the lazi- 
ness that had left us here. No clouds obscured the sky, and the 
millions of starry lights that in this clime render the moon's ab- 
sence of little consequence were shining upon us in their calm, 
still beauty. The stream where we were anchored was narrow ; 
tall trees drooped over the water, or mangroves shot out their 
long finger-like branches into the mud below. Huge bats were 
skimming past, night-birds were calling in strange voices from 
the tree-tops, fire-flies darted their mimic lightnings, fishes 
leaped above the surface flashing in the starlight, the deep, sono- 
rous baying of frogs came up from distant marshes, and loud 
plashings inshore suggested all sorts of nocturnal monsters. 
It was our first night upon the water, and we enjoyed the scene 
in silence long after our boatmen had ceased their song, until 
nature's wants were too mucli for our withstanding, and we sank 
upon the hard floor to dream of scenes far different. 

It was eight o'clock in the morning when, turning an angle of 
the stream, we came full in view of the mill, the proximity of 
which we had been made sensibly aware of for the last half-hour 
by the noisy clamour of the machinery. It was a lofty stone 
structure, standing forth in this retirement like some antique 
erection. Mr. Leavens was expecting us, and we were delighted 
once more to shake the hand of a warm-hearted countryman. 
Breakfast was upon the table, and here for the first time we ven- 
tured to test our capacities for fish and farinha. The fish was a 
hard case, coarser than shark-meat, and requiring an intimacy 
with vinegar and oil to remove its unpleasant rankness. Farinha 
was not so disagreeable, and we soon came to love it as do the 
natives. Indeed, long before our Amazonian experience had 
ended, we could relish the fish also as well as any Indian. 

The scenery about the mill is very fine. In front the stream, 
a broad lake at high water and a tiny brook at other times, skirt- 
ing a low meadow at the distance of a hundred rods, is lost in 
the embowering shrubbery. All beyond is a dense forest. Upon 
the meadow a number of large, fat cattle are browsing on the 
coarse grass, and flocks of jacanas, a family of water-birds remark- 
able for their long toes, which enable them to step upon the 



28 A VOYAGE UP TflE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

leaves of lilies and other aquatic plants, are flying with loud cries 
from one knoll to another. Back of the mill the road leads to- 
wards the city, and to the right and left are well-beaten paths, 
leading to small, clear lakes, from which the mill derives its 
water. The whole vicinity was formerly a cultivated estate, but 
the grounds are now densely overgrown. At the distance of a 
mile the road crosses what is called the first bridge, which spans 
a little stream that runs sporting through the woodland. The 
colour of the water of this and other small streams is of a reddish 
cast, owing doubtless to the decomposing vegetation. It is, 
however, very clear, and fishes and eels may at any time be seen 
playing among the logs and sticks which strew the bottom. 
Beyond this bridge is the primeval forest. Trees of incredible 
girt tower aloft, and from their tops one in vain endeavours to 
bring down the desired bird with a fowling-piece. The trunks 
are of every variety of form, round, angular, and sometimes 
resembling an open network, through which the light passes in 
any direction. Amid these giants very few low trees or little 
underbrush interfere with one's movements, and very rarely is 
the path intercepted by a fallen log. But about the trees cling 
huge snake-like vines, winding round and round the trunks, and 
through the branches sending their long arms, binding tree to 
tree. Sometimes they throw down long feelers, which swing in 
mid air until they reach the ground, when, taking root, they in 
their turn throw out arms that cling to the first support. In this 
way the whole forest is linked together, and a cut tree rarely 
fells without involving the destruction of many others. This 
creeping vine is called sepaw, and, having the strength and flexi- 
bility of rope, is of inestimable value in the construction of 
houses and for various other purposes. 

Around the tree-trunks clasp those curious anomalies, para- 
sitic plants, sometimes throwing down long, slender roots to the 
ground, but generally deriving sustenance only from the tree 
itself and from the air, called hence, appropriately enough, air- 
plants. These are in vast numbers and of every form, now re- 
sembling lilies, now grasses or other familiar plants. Often a 
dozen varieties cluster upon a single tree. Towards the close of 
the rainy season they are in blossom, and their exquisite appear- 
ance, as thev encircle the mossy and leafed trunk with flowers of 



CHAP, v.] A BRAZILIAN FOEEST. 29 

every hue, can scarcely be imagined. At this period, too, vast 
numbers of trees add their tribute of beauty, and the flower- 
domed forest from its many-coloured altars ever sends heaven- 
ward worshipful incense. Nor is this wild luxuriance unseen or 
unenlivened. Monkeys are frolicking through festooned bowers, 
or chasing in revelry over the wood arches. Squirrels scamper 
in ecstasy from limb to limb, unable to contain themselves for 
joyousness. Coatis are gambolling among the fallen leaves, or 
vying with monkeys in nimble climbing. Pacas and agoutis 
chase wildly about, ready to scud away at the least noise. The 
sloth, enlivened by the general inspiration, climbs more rapidly 
over the branches, and seeks a spot where in quiet and repose he 
may rest him. The exquisite, tiny deer, scarcely larger than a 
lamb, snuffs exultingly the air, and bounds fearlessly, knowing 
that he has no enemy here. 

Birds of gaudiest plumage flit through the trees. Thetrogon, 
lonely sitting in her leaf-encircled home, calls plaintively to her 
long-absent mate. The motmot utters his name in rapid tones. 
Tucano, tucano, comes loudly from some fruit-covered tree, 
where the great toucans are rioting. " Noiseless chatterers " 
flash through the branches. The loud rattling of the wood- 
pecker comes from some topmost limb ; and tiny creepers, in 
livery the gayest of the gay, are running up the tree-trunks, 
stopping now and then their busy search, to gaze inquisitively at 
the strangers. Pairs of chiming thrushes are ringing their alter- 
nate notes like the voice of a single bird. Parrots are chatter- 
ing, paroquets screaming. Manakins are piping in every low 
tree, restless, never still. Woodpigeons, the " birds of the painted 
breasts," fly startled ; and pheasants of a dozen varieties go whir- 
ring off. But, most beautiful of all, humming-birds, living gems, 
and surpassing aught that's brilliant save the diamond, are con- 
stantly darting by ; now stopping an instant to kiss the gentle 
flower, and now furiously battling some rival humble-bee. Beijar 
flor, kiss-flower 'tis the Brazilian name for the humming-bird, 
beautifully appropriate. Large butterflies float past, the bigness 
of a hand, and of the richest metallic blue ; and from the flowers 
above comes the distant hum of myriads of gaily coated insects. 
From his hole in the sandy road, the harmless lizard, in his 
gorgeous covering of green and gold, starts nimbly forth, stop- 



30 A VOYAGE UP fHE EIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

ping, every instant, with raised head and quick eye, for the 
appearance of danger ; and armies of ants in their busy toil are 
incessantly marching by. 

How changed from all this is a night scene ! The flowers that 
bloomed by day have closed their petals, and, nestled in their 
leafy beds, are dreaming of their loves. A sister host now take 
their place, making the breezes to intoxicate with perfume, and 
exacting homage from bright, starry eyes. A murmur, as of 
gentle voices, floats upon the air. The moon darts down her 
glittering rays, till the flower-enamelled plain glistens like a 
shield ; but in vain she strives to penetrate the denseness, except 
some fallen tree betrays a passage. Below, the tall tree-trunk 
rises dimly through the darkness. Huge moths, those fairest of 
the insect world, have taken the places of the butterflies, and 
myriads of fire-flies never weary in their torchlight dance. Far 
down the road comes on a blaze, steady, streaming like a meteor. 
It whizzes past, and for an instant the space is illumined, and 
dewy jewels from the leaves throw back the radiance. It is the 
lantern-fly, seeking what he himself knows best, by the fiery 
guide upon his head. The air of the night-bird's wing fans your 
cheek, or you are startled by his mournful note, wac-o-row. wac- 
o-row, sounding dolefully, by no means so pleasantly as our whip- 
poor-will. The armadillo creeps carelessly from his hole, and, at slow 
pace, makes for his feeding-ground ; the opossum climbs stealthily 
up the tree, and the little ant-eater is out pitilessly marauding. 

All this supposes pleasant weather ; but a storm in these forests 
has an interest, though of a very different kind. Heavy clouds 
come drifting from the east, preceded by a low, ominous murmur, 
as the big drops beat upon the roof of leaves. Rapidly this 
deepens into a terrific roar ; the forest rocks beneath the fury of 
the blast, and the crashing fall of trees resounds fearfully. Tor- 
nadoes are unfrequent ; but one, while we were at the mills, swept 
through the forest, now hurling aside the massive trees like 
weightless things, and now tripping carelessly, only taking tribute 
of the topmost boughs sportive in its fierceness. We were struck 
by the absence of thunder and lightning in the furious pourings 
of the rainy season. The clouds came to their daily task gloomily, 
as though pining for a holiday, and, in the weariness of forced 
toil, forgot their wantonness. 



CHAP, v.] SPORTING- -THE TOUCAN. 31 

Our first gunning expeditions were between the mill and the 
bridge, and the nature of the woods rendered it a toilsome mat- 
ter until experience had made us acquainted with the most con- 
venient paths and the notes and habits of the birds. Every one 
venturing into the forest is armed with a long, curved knife, 
called a tresddo, for the purpose of cutting his way through the 
entangling vines that especially obstruct the woods of second 
growth. In such a section also the foliage is so dense, that it is 
extremely difficult to discover the birds who are uttering their 
notes all about and when they are shot, it is often a puzzle to 
the keen eyes of an Indian to find them amid the vines. But 
one soon learns that most of the families have peculiar haunts, 
where, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, they con- 
gregate in flocks. The trees in these places are usually thickly 
covered with berries of some sort, and until these are entirely 
exhausted the concealed sportsman may shoot at the perpetually 
returning flocks until he is loaded with his game. Berries suc- 
ceed berries so constantly throughout the year, that in some spots 
the birds' food is never wanting. 

Most noticeable of all these birds both for size and peculiarity 
of form are the toucans. There are many varieties, appearing 
at different seasons ; but the Red-billed, R. erythrorynchos, and 
the Ariel, R. ariel (Vig.), are the largest and most abundant, 
seen at every season, but towards autumn particularly in vast 
numbers throughout the forest. Their large beaks give them a 
very awkward appearance, more especially when flying ; yet in 
the trees they use them with as much apparent ease as though 
they were to our eyes of a more convenient form. Alighted on 
a tree one usually acts the part of sentinel, uttering constantly 
the loud cry Tucdno, whence they derive their name. The others 
disperse over the branches, climbing about by aid of their beaks, 
and seize the fruit. We had been told that these birds were in 
the habit of tossing up their food to a considerable distance, and 
catching it as it fell ; but, as far as we could observe, they merely 
threw back the head, allowing the fruit to fall down the throat. 
We saw at different times tamed toucans, and they never were 
seen to toss their food, although almost invariably throwing back 
the head. This habit is rendered necessary by the length of the 
bill and the stiffness of the tongue, which prevents their eating 



32 A VOYAGE UP "f HE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

as do other birds. All the time while feeding, a hoarse chatter- 
ing is kept up, and at intervals they unite with the noisy sentry, 
and scream a concert that may be heard a mile. Having appeased 
their appetites they fly towards the deeper forest, and quietly 
doze away the noon. Often in the very early morning a few of 
them may be seen sitting silently upon the branches of some dead 
tree, apparently awaiting the coming sunlight before starting for 
their feeding-trees. 

The nests of the toucans are represented in works of natural 
history as being constructed in the hollows of trees. It may be 
so in many cases and with some species. The only nest that we 
ever saw, which was of the Toco toucan, was in the fork of a 
large tree over the water upon the Amazon. 

Toucans, when tamed, are exceedingly familiar, playful birds, 
capable of learning as many feats as any of the parrots, with the 
exception of talking. When turning about on their perch, they 
effect their object by one sudden jump. They eat anything, but 
are particularly fond of meat. When roosting they have a habit 
of elevating their tails over their backs. The beaks of the red- 
billed toucans are richly marked with red, yellow, and black ; 
but preserved specimens soon lose this beauty. The family of 
birds most sought after by collectors, and the most gaudy of the 
Brazilian forest, is that of the Chatterers. When in large 
flocks these birds cluster in the tree-tops, dazzlingly lustrous in 
the sunlight, even the kiss-flower might be envious. These 
birds have no song. That charm impartial nature has conferred 
upon others outwardly less attractive ; and these must be con- 
tent with a simple note. The Cardinal is less common than the 
ethers, and is more generally seen in pairs, breeding in the 
months of August and September, near the mills. The other 
species seem transient visitors, generally abundant in May and 
June, and at that season associating in large flocks. There is 
another variety, the Carunculated chatterer, sometimes called 
the Bell-bird, occasionally seen near Para. Mr. Leavens seems tc 
be the only person who has met with them, having obtained a 
pair in the deep forest. This bird is the size of a small dove, 
and of a pure white colour when mature. On the bill is a fleshy 
caruncle, about an inch in length, somewhat like a turkey's 
comb. Of its habits or its note we could learn nothing. The 



CHAP, v.] BIRDS. 33 

more common chatterers are inactive birds and great gluttons, 
often eating until quite stupified. In this they resemble their 
relative, the cedar-bird of the north. 

The Motmot, Momotus Brasiliensis, is another of these 
curious residents. This bird is about the size of a robin, having 
a back of a dark rich green, and a long wedge-shaped tail, two 
feathers of which extend some inches beyond the others. The 
shafts of these are stripped of their webs near the extremities, 
giving the bird a very singular appearance. One would suppose 
that these birds trimmed their feathers thus themselves, for many 
are found with quills perfect, and others partly denuded. The 
motmots are generally in pairs in the deep woods, and are easily 
recognised by their note, motmot, slowly repeated. 

The Manikins, in their different varieties, form a beautiful 
family, the most numerous of any, and corresponding much in 
their habits to our warblers. They are tiny things, generally 
having black bodies, arid heads of yellow, red, white, and other 
colours. Like perpetual motion personified, they move about the 
branches and low shrubs, always piping their sharp notes ; and, 
unless upon a feeding-tree, almost defying shot. 

The common varieties are the White-capped, Pipra leucocilla ; 
Red-headed, P. erythrocephala ; Blue-backed, P. pareola ; and 
Puff-throated, P. manacus. Of these the first is most abundant. 
A nest of the red-headed was composed of tendrils of vines, and 
was scarcely larger than a dollar, and very shallow. It was 
affixed to one of the outermost forks of a low limb, beyond reach 
of any enemy but one. The eggs were cream-coloured, and 
speckled with brown. A nest of the blue-backed was composed 
of leaves, fibres, and moss, and much resembled in shape a watch- 
case. A nest of the puff-throated was also pensile, but not so 
ingeniously composed as either of the others. The eggs of the 
two latter species were cream-coloured and much spotted, par- 
ticularly at the larger end. 

Many other remarkable species of birds I shall have occasion 
to speak of hereafter ; at present I will mention but the hum- 
ming-birds. Wherever a creeping vine opens its fragrant clus- 
ters, or wherever a tree-flower blooms, may these little things 
be seen. In the garden or in the woods, over the water, every- 
where they are darting about ; of all sizes, from one that might 



34 A VOYAGE UP T^E RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

easily be mistaken for a different variety of bird, to the tiny Her- 
mit, T. rufigaster, whose body is not half the size of the bees 
buzzing about the same sweets. The blossoms of the inga-tree, 
as before remarked, bring them in great numbers about the 
rosinhas of the city, and the collector may shoot as fast as he 
can load, the day long. Sometimes they are seen chasing each 
other in sport with a rapidity of flight and intricacy of path 
the eye is puzzled to follow. Again, circling round and round, 
they rise high in mid air, then dart off like light to some distant 
attraction. Perched upon a little limb they smooth their plumes 
and seem to delight in their dazzling hues ; then starting off 
leisurely they skim along, stopping capriciously to kiss the 
coquetting flowerets. Often two meet in mid air and furiously 
fight, their crests and the feathers upon their throats all erected 
and blazing, and altogether pictures of the most violent rage. 
Several times we saw them battling with large black bees, who 
frequent the same flowers, and may be supposed often to interfere 
provokingly. Like lightning our little heroes would come 
down, but the coat of shining mail would ward their furious 
strokes. Again and again would they renew the attack, until 
their anger had expended itself by its own fury, or until the 
apathetic bee, once roused, had put forth powers that drove the 
invader from the field. 

A boy in the city several times brought us humming-birds 
alive in a glass cage. He had brought them down while, stand- 
ing motionless in the air, they rifled the flowers, by balls of clay 
blown from a hollowed tube. 

"We received from Mr. Leavens a nest of the hermit ; it was 
formed upon the under side of a broad grass leaf, which drooped 
in a manner to protect it entirely from sun and rain. The 
material of which it was composed was a fine moss. Day after 
day Mr. L. had watched its formation ; but before the little archi- 
tect had completed it, the ants appeared, and she sought a safer 
spot for her home. 

At first we were somewhat nervous about venturing far into 
the woods, and anxiously careful to protect our feet from vicious 
reptiles by redoubtable boots. A little experience served to dis- 
abuse us of this error, and we were soon content to go in slippers. 
Old bugbear stories of snakes began to lose their force, when 



CHAP, v.j ABSENCE OF FLIES ANTS. 35 

day after day passed without meeting even a harmless grass- 
snake. Not that there really are no such animals, for sometimes 
huge specimens have been seen about the mills, and one not 
many months before had been surprised who in his fright dis- 
gorged a fine musk-duck. But such cases are of extreme rarity, 
and only occur near the water. In the forest snakes are not 
seen, and no one thinks of fearing them. 

The absence of flies seems still more strange to a person from 
the north, who has always been accustomed to associate flies with 
warm weather, and who, mayhap, has been tormented by black 
swarms in our woods. Their place in Brazil is well supplied by 
ants, who are seen everywhere, in the houses and in the fields. 
But. as the main efforts of these insects are directed to the re- 
moval of whatever is noxious, most species are not merely 
tolerated, but looked upon as sincere and worthy friends. They 
are of all sizes and colours, from the little red fire-ant, who 
generally minds his own business, but who occasionally gets upon 
one's flesh, making all tingle, to the huge black species, an inch 
or more in length, who labours zealously in the woods for the 
removal of decaying vegetation. In this work this ant is 
assisted by a smaller variety also black ; and armies two and 
three feet wide, and of interminable length, are frequently encoun- 
tered in the woods. It well becomes one to stand aside from their 
line of march, for they turn neither to the right nor to the left, 
and in a moment one may be covered, to his dismay, if not sorrow. 

But there is one variety of ant which must be excluded from 
all commendation. This is a small species, called Saiiba, and 
.they are a terrible annoyance to the proprietors of rosinhas, 
inasmuch as they strip the fruit-trees of their leaves. An array 
of these will march to the tree, part ascending and the others 
remaining below. Those above commence their devastation, 
clipping off the leaves by large pieces, and those below shoulder 
them as they fall and march away to their rendezvous. It is 
surprising what a load one of these little things will carry, as 
disproportionate to its size as if a man should stalk off beneath 
an oak. Before morning not a leaf is left upon the tree, and 
the unfortunate proprietor has the consolation of knowing that, 
unless he can discover the retreat of the saubas, and unhole 
them, one by one every tree upon his premises will be stripped. 

T 9 



36 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

There is a small white ant called Cupim, that builds its nest 
in the trees at the juaction of a limb, or often about the trunk. 
These are sometimes of great size, and at a distance resemble 
black knurles. Upon this variety the little Ant-eater lives. 
Climbing up some convenient tree, he twists his long prehensile 
tail about the trunk or some favouring limb, and, resting upon 
this, commences operations. Making an incision in the exterior 
of the nest by means of the sharp hook-like claws with which 
his arms are furnished, he intrudes his slender snout and long 
glutinous tongue. So well protected by wool is he, that the ants 
have no power over him, but abide their fate. I kept one of 
these animals for some days, but he refused all nourishment ; 
during the day he sat with his tail twisted around a limb ap- 
propriated to his use, his head buried in his fore paws. But 
when the dusk of evening came on he was wide awake, and 
passed half the night in walking pretty rapidly about the room, 
seeking some egress, and in climbing about the furniture. The 
negroes have a belief that if the ant-eater is shut up in a tight 
box, and secured by every possible means, he will be spirited 
away before morning. The most intelligent black about the 
mills came to me desiring I would try the experiment. " He is 
a devil," said Larry ; and I consented, shutting his impship in a 
wooden chest. Next morning Larry's eyes opened as he saw 
the test had failed, and he signified his intention to believe no 
more lies for the future. 

The lakes in the vicinity were interesting places of resort to 
us, and several times we pushed the little canoe, or montaria, up 
the raceways, and paddled about amid the bushes, or along the 
shores, in search of birds or nests. The latter were very com- 
mon, and it was interesting to observe the care with which the 
building-spot was chosen to keep it from the reach of lizards or 
other reptiles, but above all from the ever-present ants. And 
yet the ants were always there ; they had passed from shore 
upon leaves and floating shrubs, and every tree was infested by 
them. Most of the nests w ere arched over above to keep out 
the sun's heat, and particularly those of the Fly-catcher family, 
who in the north build open nests. 

The most singular nests, and most worthy description, were 
those of the Troopials, Cassicus icteronotus (Swain.), a large black 



CHAP, v.] THE TROOPIAL. 37 

bird, much marked with yellow, and frequently seen in cages. 
Their native name is Japim. They build in colonies pensile 
nests of grass, nearly two feet in length, having an opening for 
entrance near the top. Upon one tree standing in the middle of 
the lake, not more than ten feet high, and the thickness of a man's 
arm, were forty-five nests of these birds, built one upon another, 
often one depending from another, and completely concealing all 
the tree-top except a few outermost leaves ; at a distance the 
whole resembled a huge basket. Part of these nests belonged to 
the Red-rumped Troopial C. haemorrhous ; and a singular 
variety of oriole, the Ruff-necked of Latham, called Araona or 
Rice bird, after the fashion of our cow-bird, deposits its eggs 
in the troopials' nests, leaving the young to the care of their 
foster-mothers. Upon this tree was a small hornets' nest, and 
the Indian whom we employed asserted that these were the pro- 
tectors of the birds from intruders. It may be so; we saw the 
same fellowship at other places. Usually troopials build nearer 
houses, and are always welcome, being friendly sociable birds, 
ever ready to repay man's protection by a song. Often in such 
situations large trees are seen with hundreds of these nests 
dependent from the limbs and swaying in the wind. A colony 
which had settled upon a tall palm near the mill was one night 
entirely robbed of eggs by a lizard. Snakes are sometimes 
the depredators, and, between all their enemies, the poor birds of 
every species are robbed repeatedly. Probably owing to this 
cause it is very unusual to find more than two esjgs in one nest. 

The red-rumped troopials shot in this place were of different 
sizes, some being several inches longer than others, although all 
were in mature plumage. Their nests were perhaps larger than 
those of the japims, but differed in no other respect. The eggs 
were white, spotted with brown, and particularly on the larger 
end. The japim's eggs were cream-coloured, and similarly 
spotted ; and the eggs of the ruff-necked orioles were large in 
proportion to the size of the bird, bluish in colour, and much 
spotted, and lined with dark brown. 

We employed an Indian who lived near by, by name Alex- 
ander, and a notable hunter, to obtain us specimens and to serve 
as guide upon occasions. He never could be induced to shoot 
small birds, but always made his appearance with something tha*. 



38 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. T. 

he considered legitimate game often a live animal. One of 
these captives was a sloth ; and this fellow we kept for several 
days, trying to see what could be made of him. He was a pretty 
intractable subject, and poorly repaid our trouble. In face he 
resembled somewhat a monkey, and the corners of his mouth 
curving upward gave him a very odd appearance, making him 
look as one would suppose a monkey toper might look, if mon- 
keys ever dissipated. His long arms were each terminated by 
three large claws, and his tough skin was well protected by a 
shaggy coat of coarse grisly hair. Placed upon the ground, he 
would first reconnoitre, turning his head slowly about, then 
leisurely stretch forth one arm, endeavouring to hook his claw 
in something that might aid him in pulling himself onward ; this 
found, the other claws would slowly follow in turn. He uttered 
no noise of any kind. But put him where there was opportunity 
to climb, and his appearance was different enough : that dulled 
eye would glisten, and an idea seem to have struck him ; rapidly 
his arms would begin to move, and, sailor-like, hand over hand, 
he would speedily have climbed beyond recovery, had not a 
restraining rope encircled him. These animals are very common 
through this forest, but upon the Amazon far more numerous. 
There are certainly two very distinct varieties, and the Indians 
say three. Usually they are seen upon the lower side of a hori- 
zontal limb, hanging by their curved claws. They sometimes 
eat fruit, but principally live upon leaves; and when these are 
stripped from one tree, betake themselves to another, which they 
in turn denude. 

At another time Alexander brought in a young armadillo, or 
Tatii, which he had dug from its burrow in the ground. There 
are several varieties about Para. They are easily tamed, eating 
all sorts of vegetables and insects, particularly beetles, which they 
unhole from their hiding-places in the earth. I went one day 
with Alexander to the margin of one of the lakes in the woods, 
to obtain specimens of a coveted beetle (Phanaeus lancifer). We 
found a number of their holes, reaching down to the level of the 
water, rather more than two feet. Fragments of wing-cases of 
the beetles were strewed about, and many holes of a larger size 
explained that the tatii had been before us. 

In one of Alexander's excursions he had the good fortune to 



CHAP, v.] MONKEYS INDIAN BOY. 39 

discover a full-grown puma in the act of devouring a deer which 
it had just killed. Nothing daunted, although armed with but a 
single-barrelled gun, and that loaded with BB shot, he gave the 
animal a discharge, which made him leave the deer and spring 
to a tree. Six several times our hunter fired, until at last the 
puma was dead at his feet. Formerly these animals were not un- 
common, but now are very rarely met, except upon Marajo. 

Not unfrequently the fruit of our hunting excursions was a 
monkey, and we considered this most acceptable, as it furnished 
our table with a meal, delicious, though not laid down in the 
cookery-books. These animals are eaten throughout the province, 
and are in esteem beyond any wild game. Whatever repugnance 
we felt at first was speedily dissipated, and often, in regard to 
this as well as other dishes, we had reason to congratulate our- 
selves that our determination of partaking of whatever was set 
before us discovered to our acquaintance many agreeable dishes, 
and never brought us into trouble. 

Somewhere in these precincts A picked up a little naked 

Indian, with eyes like a hawk, and most amusingly expressive 
features. Squatted upon a bench, with his knees drawn up to his 
chin, he would watch every motion with the curiosity of a wild 

man of the woods. A denominated him his tiger, but the 

black servitors shook their heads, and muttered " un pocodiabo," 
a little devil. It was the tiger's business to follow in the woods 
and pick up game, and in the intricacy of a thicket rarely could 
even a hummer escape him. Here he was at home, but in the 
house the indistinctness of his conceptions of meum and tutini, 
and his ignorance of the usages of even a tolerably decent society, 
made him very annoying. One day, being rated for not having 

dried A 's shirt, he was discovered soon after with the shirt 

upon his back, and standing over the fire. 

The building, a part of which is now used as a rice-mill, was 
formerly appropriated to different purposes, and was the manor- 
house of a vast estate, now mostly unproductive. It was in the 
days of Para's glory, under the old regime, and here, upon the 
finishing of the structure, were gathered all the beauty and aris- 
tocracy of the city coming down in barges, with music and 
flying streamers, to a three days' revel. Every Sunday the old 
proprietor rode through the forest to the city, with coach and 



40 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. v. 

four. Those days have passed, and the boundless wealth and the 
proud aristocracy that surrounded the viceroy's court have 
passed with them. An American company, formed at North- 
ampton, Mass., purchased the estate, and for many years, under 
the superintendence of Mr. Upton, the agent and main pro- 
prietor, have carried on a large and profitable business. There 
are two mills, one propelled by steam, the other by water. The 
rice is brought in canoes from the city, and, being hulled, 
is returned to be reshipped, in great part to Portugal. In 
this level country it is extremely difficult to find a sufficient 
fall of water for a mill-seat, but still more so to find a fall so 
conveniently situated as to be accessible by tide-water. Both 
these requisites are here, the fall of water being twelve feet, and 
the flood-tide filling a deep basin directly by the side of the mill. 
About twenty blacks are employed upon the place, and the more 
intelligent are found every way competent to attend the different 
departments. Larry, particularly, was a general favourite with 
visitors, and had showed his appreciation of tlieir favour by pick- 
ing up a few words of English. His province was filling and 
marking the sacks, and, being paid a price for all above a certain 
number, he earned regularly between two and three dollars 
a-week. We thought, of course, that Larry was in a fair way to 
be a freeman, and, in our innocence, suggested that he was laying 
up money to buy his papers. But he dispersed all such notions 
by the sententious reply, " I do not buy my freedom, because I 
am not a fool." He had a good master, he had a wife, and he 
did not have care or trouble. Thus he was contented. The as- 
pirations of another of these blacks were more exalted ; for one 
day, as he sat ruminating upon air castles, his soul fired perhaps 
with the glorious " excelsior." he burst out with, " I wish I was 
a rich man, I would eat nothing but fresh fish." The wood used 
in the steam-mill was brought up by canoes, and exchanged for 
broken rice. It was handsome split wood, tough as hickory, and 
of varieties generally capable of a fine polish. Most of those 
who brought it were women, and they threw it out and piled it, 
as though they were not unaccustomed to the labour. There was 
one little boy, of not more than nine years, who used to paddle 
alone a small montaria, unload his wood, buy his rice, and return 
with the tide. This was nothing unusual, but it serves to show 



CHAP, v.] HAMMOCKS VAMPIRE-BATS. 41 

the confidence reposed in children, who at an early age are often 
seen in situations thought to require double the years elsewhere. 

It was at the mills that we first appreciated the real luxury of 
sleeping in hammocks. One lies peacefully down without the 
annoying consciousness that he is beset with marauding, blood- 
thirsty enemies. Throughout the whole province of Para ham- 
mocks are universally used, and never but on one occasion while 
we were in the country were we annoyed by flee or bug. The 
hammock is a pleasant lounge by day, as well as resting-place by 
night, and the uncomfortable heat that might be felt in a bed is 
entirely avoided. In the centre of the walls of rooms appro- 
priated as sleeping apartments are staples and rings, or suspension 
hooks, and the hammocks are swung across the corners. Some- 
times a post placed in the middle of the room answers as a point 
of divergence, and thus a great number of guests may be accom- 
modated in little space and with no inconvenience. 

There is one enemy which sometimes approaches even a ham- 
mock, and takes a tribute from the unconscious sleeper, and that 
is the vampire-bat. They are common enough anywhere, but 
about the mill seem to have concentrated in disproportionate 
numbers. During the day they are sleeping in the tiles of the 
roof, but no sooner has the declining sun unloosed the eve than 
they may be seen issuing in long black streams. Usually, we 
avoided all their intimacies by closing the shutters at sunset; but 
occasionally some of them would find entrance through the tiles, 
and we went forth to battle them with all the doughty arms within 
our reach, nor stopped the slaughter until every presumptuous 
intruder had bit the dust, or, less metaphorically, had sprawled 
upon the floor. Several thus captured measured each upwards of 
two feet across the wings, but most were smaller. Of their fond- 
ness for human blood, and especially that particular portion which 
constitutes the animus of the great toe, from personal experience 
I am unable to vouch ; but every one in the country is confident 
of it, and a number of gentlemen, at different times, assured us 
that they themselves had been phlebotomized in that member, nor 
knew of the operation until a bloody hammock afforded indu- 
bitable evidence. They spoke of it as a slight affair, and pro- 
bably the little blood that is extracted is rarely an injury. If 
the foot is covered there is no danger, or if a light is kept burning 



42 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. "CHAP. T. 

in the room ; and often we have slept unharmed, thus guarded, 
where bats were fluting about and squeaking the night long. 
Cattle and horses are not so easily protected, and a wound once 
made, the bat returns to it every night until proper precautions 
are taken or the animal is killed by loss of blood. 

In different parts of the mill were the nests of a species of 
wasp made of clay, and generally fastened upon the wall. But 
several times, upon our boxes, books, or plants, they commenced 
their labours, constructing so neat a little edifice that it was hard 
to consider them intruders. 

Another incident was more home-like. Within the noisiest 
part of the building, and in an unused piece of machinery, a little 
house-wren had constructed her home, and would have reared 
her pretty brood, but, I am sorry to say, some egg-collecting 
stranger chanced that way. 

One morning we took the montaria, and started for Corien- 
tiores, a plantation, or rather what once was a plantation, some 
three miles below. The sun was rising unclouded, the tide fell 
swiftly, and we skimmed arrow-like in our little craft, past leafy 
banks and flowery festoonings, and in a course more tortuous than 
than of a meadow brook. The kingfisher sat perched upon his 
overhanging branch, scarcely big enough to carry off the minnows 
he so intently watched for, and a jewel in the sunlight, with his 
back of golden green and satin breast. Sandpipers flew startled 
across the stream, and the shrilly cackling rail skulked away at 
our approach. A duck-hawk sat upon the summit of a leafless 
tree, fearlessly eying us. Huge fish leaped out of the water, iu 
all the ecstasy of piscatorial bliss, and we drew from the general 
joyousuess good omens of a successful morning's work. Arrived 
at our destination, nought appeared but a house in the distance, 
almost concealed by shrubbery, and everywhere else a tangled 
bush with a few tall trees, from whose tops numbers of krge 
fly-catchers were calling " Bentivee Bentivee." Through this 
labyrinth we toiled a couple of hours, shooting few birds, running 
heedlessly, and to our peril, into bees' nests, and leaving rags of 
clothes and shreds of flesh among the prickly sword grass, until, 
at length, we were fain to give it up as a bad job ; and, coming 
near the house, sat us down under the orange-trees, whose abun- 
dant fruit served somewhat to stay our longings for breakfast. A 



CHAP, v.] HOSPITALITY BEEAD-FEUIT. 43 

white man came to the door, and seemed disposed to be commu- 
nicative ; so we mustered our forlorn stock of Portuguese, and 
soon made considerable advances in his graces. He insisted upon 
our taking a cup of coffee, and, after a little more nodding and 
comprehending on both sides, nothing would do but we must add 
to coffee fish and farinha fresh fish, too, and of his own catching, 
and none the less agreeable, doubtless, for being presented us 
by his pretty wife. After breakfast our friend sent out to the 
orange-tree, and soon brought us a brimming goblet of orangeade ; 
and finally, before our departure, he had a number of breadfruits 
brought in, and the extracted seeds, much like chesnuts, roasted, 
with which he crammed our pockets. Verily, thought we, if 
this is the custom of the country, and the mere fact of one's 
being a stranger is a passport to such hospitality, and a sufficient 
apology for powder-smutted faces and ragged garments, there is 
some little good left in the world yet. Here was this man, with 
so generous a heart, really one of the laziest squatters in the 
neighbourhood, without a vestige of any sort of cultivation upon 
his premises, and evidently enough dependent for his support 
upon the fish he might catch in the stream : he would have felt 
offended had we offered to pay for our entertainment, so we did 
what we could by slipping some mementoes into the hand of a 
bright-eyed young Apollo, who was trotting about with the free- 
dom of a wild colt. 

The breadfruit-tree which we saw growing upon this place 
sprang from a plant originally introduced into the Botanical 
Garden of Para by the government. A few of these trees are 
scattered over the province, but they are considered rather as 
ornamental than useful. In appearance it is one of the most beau- 
tiful of trees, having a large wide-spreading top, profusely hung 
with many-lobed leaves, nearly two feet in length and of a bright 
green. The fruit is nearly spherical, six inches in diameter, green 
in colour, and curiously warted upon the surface. Within it is 
yellowish and fibrous, and contains a number of seeds, which are 
eaten roasted. There is a superior variety that is seedless, and 
the whole of which is eaten. 

Another common visiting-place from the mills was the Laran- 
geira, or Orange Grove, a little settlement not far below Corien- 
tiores. where a lazy commandant mustered a few beggarly troops 



44 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP v. 

for the security of this part of the province. The most remark- 
able object here was a cotton-tree, measuring thirty-two feet in 
circumference two feet above the ground. The height corre- 
sponded to this vastness, and we left it with a very lively impres- 
sion of what Nature might do here, only give her the opportunity. 
Fortunately for settlers her powers are somewhat restricted, and 
for one such monster there are a hundred little formidable, else 
were clearing the land out of the question. From the Laran- 
geira we received a variety of shells, the Helix pellis-serpentis, 
Auastoma globosa, Bulimus regius, and Helix comboides (Ferr.). 
One of the largest trees of the forest is the masse rand uba, or cow- 
tree, and about Para they are exceedingly common. One, in 
particular, stands directly on the road, beyond the first bridge 
from the mill, and, cutting into this with our tresado, the milk 
issued at even- pore. It much resembled cream in appearance 
and taste, and might be used as a substitute for milk in coffee ; 
or, diluted with water, as a drink. It is, however, little used, 
except as a medicine, or for the adulteration of rubber. The 
wood of this tree is red, like mahogany, very durable, and used 
much for purposes where such timber is required. There are 
said to be eight varieties of trees known at Para, and more or less 
common, which yield a milky sap. Other trees yield fragrant 
gums, and nearly or quite all these products are used for medi- 
cinal purposes. 

At length we prepared to leave the mills, having enjoyed our- 
selves to the utmost in this our first experience of Brazilian country 
life. We had seen everything that we could have seen, and had 
made a beautiful collection of birds and other objects. It was 
with regret that we bade adieu to Mr. Leavens, who had contri- 
buted so much to our comfort and pleasure. The sun had not 
risen, when, guns upon our shoulders, and accompanied by a 
black, with a basket for the carriage of any interesting plants or 
other objects that we might desire to appropriate upon the road, 
we set forth. We passed several bridges spanning little streams, 
and for ten miles walked through the deep forest. The cries of 
monkeys resounded about us, and every now and then there came 
a shrill sound like that produced by whistling with the finger in 
the mouth. We frequently afterwards heard this same whistle 
in different parts of the country, but never were able to ascertain 



CHAP, vi.l VISIT TO CARIPE. 4i> 

from what it proceeded, most likely a squirrel, but we were 
assured it was the note of a bird. We encountered a spider, 
leisurely crossing the road, that might rival the tarantula in 
bigness, A sharpened stick pinned him to the earth, and we bore 
him in triumph to town. Across his outstretched legs none of 
us could span, and his sharp teeth were like hawk's claws. This 
species spins no web, but lives in hollow logs, and probably feeds 
upon huge insects, perhaps small animals or birds. We collected 
specimens of a great variety of ferns, calandrias, telanzias, and 
maxillarias, and observed many rich flowers of which we know 
not the names. But we did recognise a passion-flower, with its 
stars of crimson, as it wound around a small tree, and mingled its 
beauties with the overshading leaves. 



CHAPTER VI. 

OUR delightful visit at Magoary had incited a desire for further 
adventure, and, ere a week had elapsed after our return, we were 
preparing to visit Caripe. Profiting by past experience, we 
secured a small canoe, having, instead of a cabin, merely an 
arched covering towards the stern, denominated a tolda, and 
affording sufficient shelter for short voyages. This was manned 
by two stout negroes. Caripe is nearly opposite Para, distant 
about thirty miles, but separated by many intervening islands. 
Among these, thirty miles may be a short distance or a very long 
one, as the tides favour ; for there are so many cross currents 
running in every direction, that it requires great care to avoid 
being compelled to anchor and lose much time. As to pulling 
against the tide, which rushes along with a six-mile velocity, it 
is next to impossible. 

We left Para at midnight, two hours before low tide ; and, 
falling down about eight miles, received the advancing flood, 
which swiftly bore us on its bosom. There were two others of 

our party besides A and myself; and one taking the helm, 

the rest of us stretched our toughening bodies upon the platform 
under the tolda, determined to make a night of it. 

Morning dawned, and we were winding, in a narrow channel, 



46 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP.VI. 

among the loveliest islands that eye ever rested on. They sat 
upon the water like living things ; their green drapery dipping 
beneath the surface, and entirely concealing the shore. Upon 
the mainland we had seen huge forests that much resembled those 
of the North magnified ; but here all was different, and our pre- 
conceptions of a forest in the tropics were more fully realized. 
Vast numbers of palms shot up their tall stems, and threw out 
their coronal beauties in a profusion of fantastic forms. Some- 
times the long leaves assumed the shape of a feather-encircling 
crest at others, of an opened fan ; now, long and broad, they 
drooped languidly in the sunlight, and, again, like ribbon streamers, 
they were floating upon every breath of air. Some of these palms 
were in blossom, the tall sprigs of yellow flowers conspicuous 
among the leaves ; from others depended masses of large fruits 
ripening in the sun, or attracting flocks of noisy parrots. At 
other spots the palms had disappeared, and the dense foliage of 
the tree-tops resembled piles of green. Along the shore creeping 
vines so overran the whole as to form an impervious hedge, con- 
cealing everything within, and clustering with flowers. Very 
rarely a tall reed was seen, and by the leaves which encircled 
every joint, and hung like tassels from its bended head, we recog- 
nised the bamboo. Frequently we passed plantations, generally 
of sugar-cane, and looking, at a distance, like fields of waving 
corn, in beautiful contrast with the whole landscape beside. We 
lost the tide, and were obliged to creep along shore for some dis- 
tance at the rate of about a mile an hour. At length, towards 
noon, turning a point, we opened at once into a vast expanse of 
water, upon the farther side of which the tree-tops of Marajo were 
just visible. Immediately to our left, distant about a mile, and in 
a small circular bay, the broad white beach and glistening house 
upon its margin told us we had arrived at Caripe. We were all 
enthusiasm with the beautiful spot, heightened doubtless by the 
approaching termination of our voyage ; for in our cooped-up 
quarters we were anything but comfortable or satisfied. More- 
over, a sail in the hot sun, unfortified by breakfast, tendeth not 
to good humour. 

Landing upon the beach, and having the canoe dragged up 
high and dry. we proceeded to the house, and soon made the ac- 
quaintance of the old negroes who had charge of the premises. 



CHAP, vi.] TOME OF MR. GRAHAM DINNER. 47 

They set about preparing dinner, and we, meanwhile, slung our 
hammocks in the vacant apartments, and reconnoitred our position. 
The house was remarkably well constructed for the country, 
covering a large area, with high and neatly plastered rooms, and 
all else conveniently arranged. In front was a fine view of the 
bay, and Marajo in the distance. Upon either side the forest 
formed a hedge close by. Behind was a space of a few acres, 
dotted with fruit-trees of various kinds, and containing two or 
three thatched. structures, used for various purposes ; one of which, 
particularly, was a kiln for mandioca. Here a black, shaggy goat, 
with horns a yard in length, lay enjoying himself in the drying- 
pan. A number of young scarlet ibises were running tamely 
about. A flock of troopials had draped a tree near the house 
with their nests, and were loudly chattering and scolding. But 
amid these beauties was one object that inspired very different 
feelings. Close under our window, surrounded by a little wooden 
enclosure, and unmarked by any stone, was the tomb of Mr. 
Graham, his wife, and child. He was an English naturalist, and 
with his family had spent a long time in the vicinity of Para, 
labouring with all a naturalist's enthusiasm to make known to the 
world the treasures of the country. He left this beach in a small 
montaria, to go to a large canoe anchored at a little distance ; 
and just as he had arrived, by some strange mishap, the little boat 
was overturned, and himself, his wife, and his child were buried 
beneath the surf. The bodies were recovered and deposited in 
this enclosure. This occurred in March, 1845. A stone and 
iron rails for the grave have since been sent out from England 
such things not being procurable on the spot by Mr. Graham's 
brother. 

We were standing here when a smiling wench announced dinner 
upon the table, and all reflections upon aught else were dissipated. 

It is customary for persons visiting these solitary plantations to 
provide themselves with such provisions as they may want ; but 
we were as yet uninitiated, and had secured nothing but a few 
bottles of oil and vinegar. But fish and farinha are the never- 
failing resort, and to this we were now introduced with raging 
appetites. Here a slight difficulty occurred at the outset. The 
old woman had a store of dishes, but neither knife nor fork. We 
bad penknives, but they were inconvenient, and tresados, but they 



48 A VOYAGE UP HE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vi. 

were unwieldy ; so, sending etiquette to the parlour, we took 
counsel of our finders in this embarrassing emergency, and by 
their active co-operation succeeded in disposing, individually, of 
a large platter of a well-mixed compound, in which oil and vine- 
gar, onions, pepper, and salt materially assisted to disguise the 
flavour of the other two ingredients. There have been more costly 
meals, and perhaps of a more miscellaneous character, than our 
first at Caripe ; but I doubt if any were ever more enjoyed. After 
this dinner we got on more genteelly, for we heard of a store in 
the neighbourhood, and by as frequent visitations as our neces- 
sities rendered expedient provided ourselves with everything re- 
quisite. Fresh fish were abundant ; and frequently some Indian 
iu the vicinity would bring eggs in exchange for powder and shot. 
Add to these a daily dish of muscles, or, more conchologically 
speaking, of Hyrias and Castalias, and our ways and means are 
explained. 

We had come to Caripe more particularly for shells, inasmuch 
as it was the most celebrated locality for them in the vicinity of 
Para. The bay so faces the channel that the tides create a great 
surf and collect large numbers of various shells. We were just 
in time for the spring-tides, when the water rises and falls fifteen 
feet ; now foaminsr almost to the top of the bank, now leaving 
exposed a broad flat of sand, beyond which, in shallow water, is a 
muddy bottom. This latter was our shelling-ground ; and when- 
ever the water would permit, all of our party and the boatmen 
were wading neck deep about the bay. Each carried a basket 
upon his arm, and upon feeling out the shell with his toes, either 
ducked to pick it up or fished it out with scoop-nets made for 
the purpose. In a good morning's work we would in this way 
collect about one hundred and fifty shells. Those in the deeper 
water were of three varieties, the Hyria corrugata (Sow.), the 
Hyria avicularis (Lam.), and the Anadonta esula (D'Orbigny), 
the Jast of which was extremely uncommon. Nearer the shore, 
and in pools left standing in the sand, were the Castalia ambigua 
(Lam.), always discoverable by the long trails produced by their 
walking. Of three other small species we found single specimens, 
all hitherto undescribed by conchologists. Two of these were of 
the genus Cyrena, and the third an Anadonta. In the crevices 
of the uncovered rocks were sn*eat numbers of the Xeritina zebra 



CHAP, vi.] MARTINS TERNS NUTS AND FRUITS. 49 

(Lam.), which variety is often seen in the market of Para, and 
is eaten by the negroes. About one hundred yards east of the 
house was a tide- stream extending into the woods, and called in 
the country igaripe. Here, and in similar igaripes in the nei-h- 
bourhood, were numbers of a red-lipped Ampullaria. 

The water was so delightfully tempered that we experienced 
no inconvenience from our long wadings beyond blistered backs, 
and this we guarded against somewhat by wearing flannel. A 
kind of small fish, that bites disagreeably, was said to be common 
in these waters ; and though we never met them, we thought 
it as well to encounter them, if at all, in drawers and stockings. 
The tide here fell with very great slowness; but at the instant 
of turning it rushed in with a heavy swell, immediately flooding 
the flat, arid breaking with loud roarings upon the shore. Be- 
sides the shells above enumerated, the Bulimus haemastoma was 
extremely common upon the land. Frequently we found then- 
eggs. They were nearly an inch long, white, and within was ge- 
nerally the fully formed snail, shell and all, awaiting his egress. 

At low water, upon the bushes in some parts springing plen- 
tifully from the sand, large flocks of martins (Hirundo purpurea) 
were congregated, like swallows in August. They seemed pre- 
paring for a migration ; but as we saw them frequently through- 
out our journeyings at different seasons, they probably remain and 
breed there. Flocks of terns were skimming every morning along 
the beach, and, as we shot one of their number, the others would 
fly circling about, screaming, and utterly regardless of danger. 

The tides here collected great quantities of nuts and fruits, 
and along high-water mark was a deep ridge of them, some dried 
in the sun, others throwing out their roots and clinging to the 
soil. We picked up an interesting variety of the palm-fruits, and 
large beans of various sorts. One kind of .the latter, in par- 
ticular, was in profusion, and we soon discovered the tree whence 
they came, growing near by. It was tall and nobly branching, 
and overhung with long pods. Several varieties of acacias also 
ornamented the shore, conspicuous everywhere from the dark rich 
green of their leaves. These also bore a bean in a broad pod, 
and the Indians asserted it a useful remedy for the colic. Here 
also we discovered a new fruit ; it resembled much a strawberry 
in shape, colour, and flavour, except that its red skin was smooth, 



50 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. YI. 



and its size that of a large plum ; it covered in profusion the top 
of a large tree, and i^s appearance then was most beautiful. The 
negroes ate large quantities of it. We were told afterwards, in 
the city, that it was a useful and agreeable medicine, having upon 
the system some of the beneficial effects of calomel. 

Caripe is famous for its fishery, and we observed with interest 
the manner of taking fish in these igaripes. A matting is made 
of light reeds, six feet in length, and half an inch in diameter, 
fastened together by strings of grass. This, being rolled up, is 
easily transported upon the shoulder to a convenient spot, either 
the entrance of a small igaripe or some little bay flooded by the 
tide. The mat-net is set and properly secured, and the retiring 
tide leaves within it the unlucky fish. This mode is very simple, 
yet a montaria is frequently filled with the fish, mostly, of course, 
small in size. We saw a great many varieties thus daily taken, 
and much we regretted that our ignorance of ichthyology ren- 
dered it impossible for us to distinguish them, and that our want 
of facilities made it equally impossible to preserve them. One cu- 
rious species, the Anableps tetrophthalmus, was very common ; it is 
called by the people the four-eyed fish, and is always seen swim- 
ming with nose above the surface of the water, and propelling 
itself by sudden starts. The eye of this fish has two pupils, al- 
though but one crystalline and one vitreous humour, and but one 
retina. It is the popular belief that, as it swims, two of its eyes 
are adapted to the water and two to the air. 

It was curious to observe the tracks of the Sauba ants about 
the grass in some parts near the house. By constant passing 
they had worn roads two inches wide, and one or more deep, 
crossing each other at every angle. These paths usually ran 
towards the beach, where quantities of food were daily deposited 
for the ants. A far greater nuisance than ants were moqueens, 
little insects that live in the grass, and delight to attach them- 
selves to any passer-by. They are red in colour, and so small as 
to be scarcely distinguishable ; but there is no mistaking their 
bite, and for a little time it produces an intolerable itching. We 
had known something of them at the mills, but the dwellers there 
were nothing to those at Caripe". 

The forest around us was mostly of second growth, and dif- 
6cult of ingress, except along the road, which extended back 



CHAP, vi.] PECCARIES, ETC. BIRDS. 51 

about two miles to an old ruin. At this place we noticed in the 
doorway a tree nearly a foot in diameter, and yet but a very few 
years had elapsed since the house was inhabited. 

The creeping vines were of a different variety from any that 
we had before seen, contorted into strange shapes. One, par- 
ticularly, with its broad stalk, resembled a shrivelled bean-pod. 

Paths of wild hogs, or peccaries, crossed the woods every- 
where, these animals associating in droves ; they much resemble 
the domestic hog, but never attain a large size. At various 
places in these paths were traps set by the negroes for pacas and 
agoutis, or other small animals. A thick hedge of limbs and 
prickly-palm leaves is laid along, and any animal encountering 
this will prefer following its course to making forcible passage, until 
his mortal career is probably terminated in a figure-four trap. 

The agoutis are small animals of the Rodentia family, of a 
reddish colour, very common, and esteemed as food. They are 
much inferior in this respect, however, as well as in size, to the 
pacas. These somewhat resemble guinea-pigs in form, and are 
the size of a young porker, living in burrows in the ground. 
They are very prettily spotted, and are a beautiful species. 

In these woods we saw a number of squirrels, the same nimble 
things as squirrels elsewhere. There seems to be but one variety 
in the vicinity of the city, something smaller than our red 
squirrel, and of a colour between red and gray. The place of 
this family is fully supplied by monkeys, which are seen and 
heard everywhere. 

In the denser thicket we encountered a curious species of bird, 
which, afterwards, we found to be common throughout the pro- 
vince in like situations. This was the White-bearded Puff-bird, 
Tamatia leucops. By collectors at Para it is known by the name 
of Waxbill, from its long red beak. This bird is the size of a 
jay, and almost wholly a lead colour, approaching to black. It 
receives its name from the loose feathers upon the throat, which 
it has the habit of puffing out until its neck appears as large as 
its body. Owing to the secluded situations in which we found 
this bird, we could observe little of its habits, but another variety 
of the same family was common about the rice-mill at Magoary, 
where, at any time, numbers of them might be seei> sitting upon 
the top of some dead tree, whence they sallied out for insects, 

E 2 



52 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vn. 

after the manner of the fly-catchers. They were very tame, and 
only learned caution after >ad thinning of their numbers. 

Connected with our house was a little chapel, upon the altar 
of which was a rude representation of the Virgin, and every 
morning and evening the blacks knelt in devotion. Upon certain 
evenings all of them, and some of the neighbours, would come 
together, and for an hour chant the Portuguese hymn in wild 
tones, but very pleasing. A lamp was constantly kept burning 
in this chapel. Similar customs prevail at most of the country 
sitios, and by many of the planters the blacks are trained up 
rigidly to the performance of these observances. 

The oil universally used for burning is obtained from the nuts 
of a tree known as the Andiroba. This tree is lofty, and its 
wide-spreading top is overhung with large round pericarps, each 
of which contains eight nuts of a triangular shape. These are 
mashed between stones, and placed in the sun, which soon causes 
the oil to exude. It is dark in colour, and burns with a dim 
light. Its taste is intensely bitter. It is considered a valuable 
remedy for wounds. 

The torches used by the blacks at Caripe consisted merely of a 
few small nuts of a species of palm, strung upon a stick. They were 
full of oil, and burned clearly, answering their purpose admirably. 



CHAPTER VII. 

TAUAU is one of the estates of Archibald Campbell, Esq., and 
by his invitation we made arrangements for spending a few days 
there in company with Mr. Norris. The distance from Para is 
one tide, or about thirty miles nearly south, and upon the river 
Acara. We left the city late in the afternoon in the same ca- 
noe and with the same boatmen who accompanied us to Caripe. 
Just above the city the Guama flows in with a powerful cur- 
rent, setting far over towards the opposite islands. Passing this 
we entered the stream formed by the united waters of the Moju 
and Acard, and a few miles above turned eastward into the lat- 
ter a quiet, narrow river, winding among comparatively lofty 
banks and through large and well-cultivated plantations. The 



CHAP, vii.] INDIANS ARRIVAL AT TAUAU. 53 

clear moonlight added inexpressibly to the charm of this voyage, 
silvering the trees and casting long shadows over the water. The 
blacks struck up a song, and the wild chorus floated through the 
air startling the stillness. Frequently the same song came echoed 
back, and soon was heard the measured sound of paddles, as some 
night voyager like ourselves was on his way to the city. 

One cannot sail upon these streams, where unreclaimed nature 
still revels in freedom and beauty, without feeling powerfully the 
thickly clustering associations connected with them, and having 
often before his mind the scenes that have here transpired since 
white men made this the theatre of their avarice and ambition. 
The great race who inhabited this part of the continent were the 
Tapuyas, whose name is now the general name for Indian. They 
were a kindly, hospitable race, the least cruel of all the Brazilian 
Indians, and received the whites with open arms. The whole 
main and all these lovely islands were their homes, and here, in 
peaceful security, they whiled away their lives like a summer's 
day. Henceforth their story is soon told. They were seized as 
slaves, mercilessly treated, their lives of no more value than the 
beasts of the wood. Countless numbers perished beneath their 
toil. Millions died from epidemic diseases, and many fled far 
into the interior hoping to find some spot that the white man 
could never reach. The whole Tapuya race have disappeared, 
except here and there a solitary one, less fortunate perhaps than 
his nation. 

As we approached Taiiavi the bank increased in height, and 
from some distance the glistening tiles of a long building were 
conspicuous. At length the large plantation-house appeared upon 
the brow of the hill, almost concealed by the trees and shrub- 
bery, and a light descending the steps betokened that our ap- 
proach was observed. The overseer himself had come down to 
bid us welcome, and, landing at the nicely sheltered wharf that 
projected into the stream, we followed him up the flight of stone 
steps to the house. A room in the upper story was ready to re- 
ceive our hammocks, and here we turned in to await the morn- 
ing. It was scarcely daybreak when we were aroused by the 
entrance of a servant bringing coffee, and no further inducement 
was necessary to our early rising. The sky .was unclouded, and 
the drops which had fallen during the latter part of the night 



54 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZOX. [CHAP. vn. 

covered the trees with brilliants as the sun broke upon them. 
Everything smiled with the morning the distant woods, the 
lake-like stream, the hill slope covered by orange and cocoa trees. 
Below, and a little to the right, was the tilaria whose glistening 
roof had attracted us the night before, and numbers of blacks 
were already within engaged at their work. 

This estate was laid out by the Jesuits, and bears the marks of 
their good taste. The land for a long distance from the river is 
rolling, sometimes rising one hundred feet above the water-level. 
The soil is of a fine red clay, and from this the estate derives its 
name, Tauau signifying in the native tongue red clay. Mr. Camp- 
bell is one of the largest manufacturers of pottery in the pro- 
vince. He laboured hard to have fine earthenware made, and 
was at expense in getting out a workman and the requisite addi- 
tional material. But the workman was unskilful, and the scheme 
for the time proved abortive, though probably practicable. The 
articles of ware most in demand are water-jars, and floor and roof 
tiles. The former are made upon the wheel as elsewhere. The 
tiles are made by the women, floor-tiles being about six inches 
square by two thick, and roof-tiles about fifteen inches long, six 
wide, and one half-inch thick, curved longitudinally into half a 
scroll. Near the house was a kiln for burning lime. This 
was just finished, and, being still unblackened by fire or smoke, 
was of singularly elegant appearance with its dazzling white 
walls and yellow mouldings. The lime here burned is shell 
lime, and for this purpose vast quantities of small shells are col- 
lected at Salinas and other localities upon the sea-shore. Upon 
the hill and west of the house stood a small chapel, and beyond 
this extending a long distance upon the brow were the houses of 
the blacks, structures made by plastering mud upon latticed 
frames of wood, and thatched with palm-leaves. There were 
about eighty slaves connected with this plantation, some engaged 
in cultivating the ground or labouring in the forest, others at the 
tilaria or the kiln. They were summoned to labour about five 
in the morning by the bell, and were at work about two hours 
after dark ; but during the heat of the day they were allowed a 
long interval of rest. The chief overseer, or fator, was in the 
city, where at this season most whites throughout this vicinity 
were attending the festivals, but his place was supplied by a very 



CHAP, vii.] SLAVES CASTANHA-TREE. 55 

intelligent mulatto. Upon Saturday afternoon all the blacks 
collected around the store-room to receive their rations of fish 
and farinha for the ensuing week. About twenty pounds of the 
latter was the allowance for an adult, and a proportionate quan- 
tity of fish ; the whole expense averaging a fraction less than 
three cents per diem for each person. Many of these blacks had 
fowls and small cultivated patches, and from these sources, as 
well as from wood and river, obtained much of their support. 

Beyond the tilaria was a long swamp, and here a number of 
jacanas, snipes, and plovers were constantly flying about and 
screaming their call-notes. Back of the house was a grove of 
fine trees, some apparently having been planted for ornament, 
others bearing profusion of various sorts of fruits. The one of 
of all these most attractive was that which produces the Brazil- 
nut, called in the country castanhas. Botanically it is the Ber- 
tholletia excelsa. This tree was upwards of one hundred feet in 
height and between two and three in diameter. From the 
brandies were depending the fruits, large as cocoa-nuts. The 
shell of these is nearly half an inch in thickness, and contains the 
triangular nuts so nicely packed that once removed no skill can 
replace them. It is no easy matter to break this tough cover- 
ing, requiring some instrument and the exercise of considerable 
strength : yet we were assured by an intelligent friend at the 
Barra of the Rio Negro that the Guaribas or Howling Monkeys 
are in the habit of breaking them by striking them upon stones 
or the limbs of iron-like trees. This friend related an amusing 
incident of which he had been witness, where the monkey, for- 
getful of everything else, pounding down the nut, with might arid 
main, in a fever of excitement struck it with tremendous force 
upon the tip of his tail. Down dropped the nut and away flew 
monkey, bounding and howling fearfully. How long the victim 
was laid up by his lame tail our friend was unable to inform us ; 
but we thought one thing certain, that monkeys had changed 
since Goldsmith's day, inasmuch as at that time, as we are in- 
formed, the tip of a monkey's tail was so remote from the centre 
of circulation as to be destitute of feeling. When the castanha- 
nuts are fresh they much resemble in taste the cocoa-nut, and 
the white milk, easily expressed, is no bad substitute for milk in 
coffee. This soon becomes rancid, and at length turns to oil 



: A VOYAGE UP IftE EIVEE AMAZON. [CHJIP. vn. 



ly from Pari, and are said to form a 

" - ; "- - -'- ..--.::.-. :;_-.:_:- : : -..-:;.. .; .. .;-*. 
There is another not, probably of the pot-tree, Leevthis olla- 

ria, mentioned bvSptx. moch resembling* Ike castanha m i- 

----- 

ance and growth. Win this b ripe an opeitxlam faDs from 

- --- -. - :':: :::-- _;-:-_:;. ^:. _r : _:--: ::.e 
wrts witkia. Ifnalcji and aquirek are so exeeaavd j find of 
theae, tint it is ueuallj impossible to obtain more than the empty 




\t to tie CBfitaahm-tree, the **'^^^ j or cuya, vas moat 
attractive. It was low, its trunk oyqgiumu with moss and 
anall panatic plants. Directly front the bark of the trunk or 
branches, without interrewng stems, grew the gourd?, a bright 
green in coloar, and often nix inches in diameter, giving the 
appearance. The amafler gonrdb are cot in 
..:. :::.-: >:.r.; :- - y ,. -. -. .;.-. 
, it painted both inside and out by 

Vw^Mfnttnt AnWl Vn^nMVln^MMK (Mknintlfill 

devices. Tbey are the universal drinking-cnp, and are known 
by the nanw of caym*. 

The cleared space round about was of grant extent, moch 
beiag mnder cultivation, but a still larger portion was thickly 
overgrown vith tall weeds. Here were scores of ant-hills be- 
tween three and fcmr feet in beigfat, conieally shaped, and each 

ICRCft nTkiDO OCU&. X BC CnUXH OH wFlMCnm HBCV VWC COOIpOflCQ flBGnHCO 

alwaysdinerentfitn that in the vicinity, and evidently bad been 
brooght grain by grain. In the woods we frequently enconntered 
a dinomt kind of ant-hilL A space of a tod square would be 
-: :.:-:y , ^-- : --- - ; <.. .. .- - . -. . -:- - , - -- 
broken hito little nMonds, ibnned by the earth brooght op from 
below. While upon this snbjeet I will describe an ant-battle, 
several of which we watched at dafcrent tinws aad places. The 
cnaabatants were always a species of snuU blnek ant, and a red 
variety, equally small Coaming in long fines from different 
..-.- -..:.,- :.::::. TV :.;. : :-r " . -._' .:-- :. :..'. ..-.'. _'r 
aod had selected the groud 'for their deadly strife. The front 
and grappled, toifing fike wrestlers, biting and 



CHAP, vii.] ANT-BATTLESFORESTBIRDS. 57 

ing ; they soon fell exhausted and in the death-agony. Others 
fought over their bodies and likewise fell, and still continually 
over the increasing pile poured on the legions of survivors, 
lighting for several days in succession until a pile of a peck or 
more lay like a pyramid. They marched to certain death, and, 
had their size been proportionate to their courage, these battle- 
fields had mocked earth's bloodiest. 

The woods about Taiiaii were of the loftiest growth and filled 
with game, both birds and animals. Here we first encountered 
the gorgeous macaws, climbing over the fruit-covered branches 
and hoarsely crying. They were wiser than most birds, however, 
having acquired something of that faculty from long experience ; 
for their brilliant colours and long plumes render them desirable 
in the eyes of every Indian. They were not unwilling to allow 
us one glimpse, but beyond that we never attained. 

As might be expected, woodpeckers are exceedingly numerous 
throughout these forests, and tne size of most species is in some 
proportion to the labour they have to perform in gaining their 
livelihood from these enormous trees. Everywhere is heard 
their loud rattle and harsh peculiar note. In this latter respect 
many species so resembled those familiar to us at home, that we 
could scarcely believe that the stranger that fell dead at our feet, 
victim of a long successful shot, ought not to have been one of 
the golden-wings or red-heads that we had so often tried our 
skill upon. 

The same varieties are found throughout the river country, 
as common upon the Rio Negro as at Para. The most gaudy 
of all, and the especial favourite of the Indians, is the Picus 
rubricollis, whose crested head, neck, and breast are of a bril- 
liant red. Another finely crested species is the P. lineatus. 
There is also the P. fulvus, nearly the size of our golden-wing, 
and of a deep-brown colour. Another, as large, is almost wholly 
of a light yellow. Of lesser species there seemed no end, and 
some of them were singularly diminutive. 

The tree-creepers were a more eagerly sought family, and 
two beautiful little species are quite common in the vicinity of 
Para. One of these is of a deep indigo blue, with a black 
throat, Certhia coernlea ; the other, C. cayana, is conspicuous 
for the brilliant ultramarine blue that caps his head ; otherwise 



68 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vn; 

he is marked with blue and black and yellow. These little 
things are usually r een running up and down the tree-trunks, or 
flitting hurriedly from branch to branch, busied in searching for 
insects upon the bark. They are extremely familiar and allow 
of near approach. At intervals they emit slight whispering notes, 
but their anxious haste leaves one with the impression that they 
might do themselves much more credit as songsters at their 
leisure. We never fell in with these species up the river, their 
place there being supplied by other varieties. 

In the lower woods were great numbers of doves of many 
species, but similar to those we had elsewhere met. Most 
beautiful of all is-the Pombo troucal Columba speciosa (Linn.), 
the " bird of the painted breast." They are of large size, and 
usually are seen in pairs within the shade of some dense tree, but 
early in the morning are often discovered in large numbers upon 
the limbs of leafless trees, of which, at every season, there are 
very many throughout the forest. 

About every plantation are two varieties of tanagers, domes- 
tic as our robin, resting in the orange-trees under the windows, 
and constantly flitting among the branches, uttering their few 
notes, which, though pleasing, can scarcely be called a song. 
One of these, the Silver-bill, Tanagra jacapa, has a crimson- 
velvet livery and silvery bill ; the other, Tanagra cana, is mostly 
a sky-blue. The former is called Pipira, from its note. Its 
nest is neatly formed of leaves and tendrils of vines, and the eggs 
are usually three and four, of a light-blue colour and much 
marked at the larger end w ith spots of brown. 

Upon one occasion A brought in a sloth which he had 

shot, and I skinned him, with the intention of preserving his 
body for some anatomical friend at home, to whom sloths might 
be a novelty. But our cook was too alert for us, and, before we 
were aware, she had him from the peg where he hung dripping, 
and into the stewpan, whence he made his debut upon our 
dinner-table. We dissembled our disappointment and did our 
best to look with favour upon the beast, but his lean and tough 
flesh, nevertheless, could not compare with monkey. 

There are animals much resembling the racoon, called coatis. 
They are extremely playful, and may occasionally be seen gam- 
bolling in parties of two or more among the dry leaves. When 



CIIAP. vii.] BUTTERFLIES FESTIVAL OF JUDAS. 59 

tame they possess all a racoon's mischievousness. These, as 
well as monkeys, according to Goldsmith, were wont of old to 
live upon their own tails. 

One of the negroes brought us a little animal of the opossum 
kind, called the Macura Qhecjhega. It was scarcely larger than 
a small squirrel, and its hair was of silky softness. We could 
probably have preserved it alive, but its captor had broken both 
its hinder legs to prevent its running away. This is the common 
custom of the blacks and Indians, when they desire to preserve 
an animal for a time before it is eaten. 

About the flowers in wood and field was a profusion of butter- 
flies, almost all gaudy beyond anything we have at the North. 
The most showy of all was a large variety of a sky-blue colour 
and brilliant metallic lustre. We observed but one species seen 
also in the Northern States, the common red butterfly of our 
meadows in August. In this clime the insects of all kinds are 
nimble, beyond comparison with those elsewhere, and often the 
collector is disappointed in his chase. He has a more embarrass- 
ing difficulty than that, however, for, without the most unceasing 
care, the ever-present ants will in a few moments destroy the 
labour of a month. 

A week passed rapidly and delightfully. The fator returned 
and urgently pressed our longer stay, but reported letters from 
home hastened us back to the city. The past week had been 
the close of Lent, and during our absence the city had been alive 
with rejoicings. Festas and celebrations had taken place daily, 
and hundreds of proprietors, with their families and servants, had 
collected from every part to share the general joyousness. Of 
all these festival-days that of Judas was the favourite, and the 
one especially devoted to uproariousness. That unlucky disciple, 
by every sort of penance, atoned for the deeds done in the flesh. 
He was drowned, he was burned, he was hung in chains and 
quartered, and was dragged by the neck over the rough pave- 
ments, amid the execrations of the rabble. 

A few days after our return from Taiiaii, in company with 
Messrs. Smith and Norris, we visited the plantation of Seuhor 
Angelico, upon the river Guama, for the purpose of seeing the 
manufacture of rubber. A few hours' pull brought us, by sun- 
rise, to a sitio upon the southern side, standing upon a lofty bank. 



60 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vn. 

and commanding a fine view of the river. Here we exchanged 
our canoe for a moataria, as we were soon to ascend a narrow 
igaripe, where a few inches of width more or less might be 
material; after which, we continued a little distance farther up 
the river. The Guauia is a larger stream than the Acara. but 
much like that river in the appearance of its banks, these often 
being high, and in parts well settled. By some of the eastern 
branches of the Guama easy communication is had with streams 
flowing towards Maranham, and this route is occasionally taken 
by carriers. Suddenly the boat turned, and we shot into a little 
igaripe so embowered in the trees, that we might have passed 
unsuspecting its existence. The water was at its height, calm as 
a lake. Threading our narrow path between the immense tree- 
trunks, a dozen times we seemed to have reached the terminus, 
brought up by the opposing bank ; but as often a turn would 
discover itself, and we appeared as far from the end as ever. 
Standing in this water were many seringa or rubber-trees, their 
light-gray bark all scarred by former wounds. We gave passing 
cuts at some of them, and saw the white gum trickle down. 
When at last we landed, it was to pick our way, as best we could, 
over a precarious footing of logs and broken boards, from which 
a false step might have precipitated us into mud rich and deep. 
Once upon terra firma, a short walk brought us to the house, 
concealed among an orchard of cocoa-trees. A loud viva an- 
nounced our approach, and immediately Senhor Angelico bustled 
out of his hammock, where he lay swinging in the verandah, 
and in his night-gown bade us welcome. He was a confidence- 
inspiring old gentleman, with his short stout body and twink- 
ling eyes, and a chuckling laugh that kept his fat sides in per- 
petual motion, belying somewhat his tell-tale gray hairs and his 
high-sounding title of Justicia de Paz. 

The Senhor did not forget the necessities of early travellers. 
A little black boy brought around fresh water for washing, and 
in a trice breakfast was smoking on the table, our host doing the 
honours with beaming face and night-gown doffed. 

This was the first decidedly Brazilian country-house that we 
nad visited, and a description of it may not be uninteresting. It 
was of one story, covering a large area, and distinguished in front 
by a deep verandah. The frame of the house was of upright 



CHAP, vii.] BRAZILIAN COUNTRY-HOUSE. 61 



beams, crossed by small poles, well fastened together by withes 
of sepaw. A thick coat of clay entirely covered this both 
within and without, hardened by exposure into stone. The floors 
were of the same hard material, and in front of the hammocks 
were spread broad reed-mats, answering well the purpose of 
carpets. Few and small windows were necessary, as the inmates 
of the house passed most of the day in the open air or in the 
verandah, where hammocks were suspended for lounging or for 
the daily siesta. The roof was of palm thatch, beautifully made, 
like basket-work in neatness, and enduring for years. The 
dining-table stood in the back verandah, and long benches were 
placed by its sides as seats. Back of the house, and entirely dis- 
tinct, was a covered shed used for the kitchen and other purposes. 
Any number of little negroes, of all ages and sizes, and all naked, 
were running about, clustering around the table as we ate, watch- 
ing every motion with eyes expressive of fun and frolic, and as 
comfortably at home as could well be imagined. Pigs, dogs, 
chickens, and ducks, assumed the same privilege, notwithstanding 
the zealous efforts of one little ebony, who seemed to have them 
in his especial charge. Do his best he could not clear them all 
out from under the table at the same time ; they knew their 
rights. But these little inconveniences one soon becomes accus- 
tomed to, and regards them as matters of course. The house 
stood in a grove, and round about, for some distance, what had 
been a cultivated plantation was growing up to forest, the Senhor 
having turned his attention to the seringa. Scattered here and 
there were neat-looking houses of the blacks, many of whom were 
about, and all as fat and happy as their master. It was amusing 
to see the little fellows, crammed full of farinha and up to any 
mischief, come capering about the Senhor, evidently considering 
him the best playmate on the premises. He enjoyed their frolics 
exceedingly, and with a word or a motion would set them wild 
with glee. It is this universally kind relation between master 
and slaves in Brazil that robs slavery of its horrors, and changes 
it into a system of mutual dependence and good" will. 

We strolled about the woods several hours, shooting birds and 
squirrels or collecting plants. Some of the air-plants found here 
produced flowers of more exquisite beauty than we ever met else- 
where, particularly a variety of Stanhopea, which bore a large, 



62 A VOYAGE UP T*HE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vn. 

white, bell-shaped flower. This we succeeded in transporting to 
New York, and it is now in the greenhouse of Mr. Hogg, toge- 
ther with many other plants of our collecting. Under his care 
they promise to renew the beauty of their native woods. We 
engaged a score of little hands to pick up the shells of the B. 
haemastoma. which in some places strewed the ground. "Why 
so many empty shells were there it was impossible to understand. 
The Senhor asserted that the animals vacated their shells yearly. 

A shot an armadillo in the path, which was served up for our 

dinner. The flesh resembled, in appearance and taste, young pork. 

In the afternoon rain commenced pouring, and we were obliged 
to take to our hammocks in the verandah, amusing ourselves as 
we might. All night long the rain continued, and to such a 
degree that it was found impossible to collect the sap of the 
seringa. Greatly to our disappointment, therefore, we were 
obliged to return ungratified in the main object of our visit, 
although in every other sense we had been richly repaid. We had 
afterwards opportunities of observing the manufacture of shoes, 
which in its proper place will be described. Why rubber should 
be designated by the barbarous name of caoutchouc I cannot 
tell. Throughout the province of Para, its home, it is univer- 
sally called seringa, a far more elegant and pronounceable appel- 
lation certainly. 

On our way down the river we saw the nose of an alligator 
protruding from the water, as he swam up the current. These 
animals very rarely are met in these streams, and, indeed, through- 
out the whole lower Amazon region, excepting in the islands at 
the mouth of the river, where they abound. 

While absent upon this excursion, Mr. Bradley, an Irishman, 
who trades upon the upper Amazon, arrived at Mr. Norris's, 
bringing many singular birds and curiosities of various kinds. 
One of the former was a young harpy eagle, a most ferocious- 
looking character, with a harpy's crest and a beak and talons in 
correspondence. He was turned loose into the garden, and before 
long gave us a sample of his powers. With erected crest and 
flashing eyes, uttering a frightful shriek, he pounced upon a young 
ibis, and quicker than thought had torn his reeking liver from 
his body. The whole animal world below there was wild with 
fear. The monkeys scudded to a hiding-place, and parrots, 



CHAP, viii.] MONKEY-EXCURSION TO VIGIA. 63 

herons, ibises, and mutuns, with all the hen tribe that could 
muster the requisite feathers, sprang helter-skelter over the fences, 
some of them never to be reclaimed. 

A less formidable venture was a white monkey, pretty nearly 
equal, in his master's estimation, to most children and some 
adults. Nick had not been with us long before he was upon the 
top of the house, and refused all solicitations to come down. It 
was of no use to pursue him. Moving slowly off, as though he 
appreciated the joke, he would at last perch upon some inacces- 
sible point, and to the moving entreaties of his master would 
reply by the applied thumb to nose, and the monkey jabber of 
" No, you don't." At other times, when there was no danger of 
sudden surprises, he amused his leisure by running over all the 
roofs in the block, raising the tiles, and peering down into the 
chambers, to the general dismay. At length, as fair means 
would not do, foul must ; and Nick received a discharge from a 
gun loaded with corn. But somewhere upon the roof he ob- 
tained a rag of cloth, and, holding it before him, he would peep 
over the top, ready to dodge the flash. It would not do ; we 
gave Nick up as lost ; but of his own accord he at last descended, 
and submitted to durance. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

SOON after Mr. Bradley's arrival Dr. Costa, the chief judge of 
the district of the Rio Negro, also arrived in Para, upon his way 
to Rio Janeiro, and, learning that we desired to visit the towns 
upon the Amazon, very kindly offered us his galliota and Indians 
for that purpose. So tempting an offer allowed of no hesitation, 
but, as Mr. Bradley was to be in readiness to make the same 
journey in a few days, we determined to await his convenience, 
and meanwhile to make a short excursion to Vigia. This town is 
about fifty miles below, near the junction of a small tide-stream 
with the Grand Para. As the direct passage down the river 
offered little of interest, and moreover, at this still squally season, 
was somewhat hazardous in a small canoe, we determined on the 
inland course, winding about among the islands, and requiring 
perhaps double the time. 



64 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. mi. 

"We left Para on the 1st of May, in the same canoe that carried 
us to Magoary. and with the same negroes whom we had here- 
tofore employed. These fellows, by long acquaintance, assisted by 
a modicum of their own good nature and a due sense of our 
generosity, had moulded themselves pretty much to our wishes. 
Unmerited oblivion ought not yet to overtake these good com- 
panions of our wanderings, and who knows but that a charcoal 
sketch of their lineaments and characteristics may discover them 
to the notice of some other travellers, who may hereafter have 
like necessities with ourselves ? And first, our round-faced, jolly- 
looking, well-conditioned Faustino ; somewhat less a beauty, 
perhaps, than Nature intended, by reason of undisguisable 
tracing-: of small-pox. Yet many a worse failing might be amply 
redeemed by the happy smile that ever lightened up his coal- 
black countenance, particularly when enlivened by the slightest 
possible infusion of cashaca, which, as with the Rev. Mr. Stig- 
gins, is his weakness. Faustino is a famous story-teller, and 
enacts his own heroes with a dramatic effect that is often very 
amusing. He is gifted in song too ; and many a night have Ids 
sweet catches softened our hard couch, and hushed us to sleep. 

Faustino's companero doubtless once claimed a name proper ; 
but long since it seems to have been absorbed by the more dis- 
tinguishing and emphatic designation of Checo, which in this 
country signifies " small," a name by no means inapt. A Greek 
proverb says " there is grace in the small ;" but Checo has been 
a soldier, and now Checo's right eye is cocked for the enemy, and 
his left has an expressive squint toward the remote thicket. Nor 
do his eyes belie him, doubtless ; for though he can wear out the 
night with his adventures in the southern provinces, no scar dis- 
figures his anteriors or posteriors as he sits glistening in the sun, 
naked as the day he was born. But Checo is faithful, and 
abhors cashaca. 

Besides these two, we were forced to take a pilot, on account 
of the intricacy of the passage, and therefore a lazy, villanous- 
lookin r mixture of Brazilian and Indian sat at the helm ; while 

O 

a boy, like a monkey, whom he brought on board for what he 
could steal, was annoying us perpetually. 

As there were no occupants of the cabin but A and my- 
self, we had a comfortable allowance of rom wherein to stretch 



CHAP, viii.] INLAND PASSAGE-EGRETS AND HERONS. 65 

ourselves ; and about us, in ship-shape order, upon the cabin 
sides, were piled our baggage, implements, and provisions ; 
among which latter farinha, bread, and molasses predominated. 
Knives and forks, spoons and plates, completed the furniture of 
our cuisine; and our table-cloth was a Turkish rug, whose more 
legitimate office it was to " feather our nests" at night. 

Before dark we had left the river, and starlight found us as- 
cending a stream in nowise distinguished in the character of its 
scenery from those which I have heretofore described ; and yet 
perpetually interesting from the ever new views that constant 
windings presented, and which required neither sunlight nor 
moonlight to cause us to appreciate their loveliness. With the 
changing tide we anchored, and turned in for the night. It was 
amusing always to observe with what indifference our boatmen 
would stretch themselves out upon the seats, unprotected in any 
way from rain or dew, and drop at once into a profound sleep, 
ready at an instant's warning to start again to the oars. The pilot 
had brought along a hammock, which he swung between tlie 
masts, high above the others' heads ; thus obtaining a situation 
that might have been envied by his masters, had not frequent ac- 
quaintance with hard resting-places somewhat weakened their 
sensibilities. 

Some hours before daybreak we were again under way ; and 
the first glimpse of light found us exchanging the cabin for the 
deck, where, guns in hand, we planted ourselves, ready to take 
advantage of any unsuspicious egrets that might be feeding upon 
the muddy bank. These egrets, or gargas, as they term them in 
Brazil, are small, and of a snowy white, the Ardea candidissima ; 
and are a very interesting addition to the river beauties as they 
stalk along the banks, or sit perched upon the bushes, in the 
distance resembling so many flowers. The stream was narrow, 
and the canoe was steered to one side or the other, as we saw 
these birds ; and thus, until by repeated alarms, and much thin- 
ning of their ranks, they had become shy of our approach, they 
afforded us constant sport. Sometimes, far in the distance, 
the keen eyes of the men would descry the great blue heron, 
the Ardea herodias ; and with silent oars and beating hearts we 
crept along the shore, hoping to take him unawares. But it was 
of no avail ; his quick ear detected the approaching danger ; and 

F 



66 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. mi. 

long before we could attain shooting distance he had slowly 
raised himself, and flown farther on, only to excite us still more 
in his pursuit. 

About nine o'clock we stopped at a small sugar-estate, where 
we proposed to remain over the tide. In landing I inadvertently 
stepped off the blind stepping-stones, and brought up all standing 
with my knees in the mud, and slippers almost beyond re- 
demption. However, I contrived to hook these out, and marched 
in stocking feet the remainder of the distance to the house, pre- 
senting, doubtless, an appearance as diverting as pitiful. But 
the whites and negroes who crowded the verandah, and awaited 
our approach, seemed too much accustomed to such mishaps to 
mind them, and a quickly applied liniment of agua fresca soon 
put all to rights again. We strolled into the woods, and, after 
chasing about until we were weary, returned with several birds, 
mostly motmots and doves, and a number of the fruits called 
cupuassu. These are of the size and shape of a cocoa-nut in the 
husk, and within the shell is a fibrous, acid pulp, of which a de- 
lightful drink is made, much like lemonade. The producing 
tree is common in the forest, and of great size and beauty. The 
afternoon was rainy, and we were confined below. But the time 
passed not at all tediously, for, beside the preserving of the birds, 
we had store of books wherewith to beguile our leisure. Next 
morning we shot some rail, skulking among the mangrove- 
roots by the water's edge. These birds are called from their 
notes Cyracuras, and are heard upon all these streams in the 
early morning, or the dusk of evening, loudly cackling. It 
is unusual to observe more than one in a place, but at consider- 
able distances they call and answer each other. This is one of 
the birds that the citizens delight to domesticate. We heard also 
the sharp, quickly repeated notes of the sun-bird, the Ardea 
helias, and the most beautiful of the heron tribe. Almost every 
bird is named in this part of Brazil from its note ; but this, by 
way of distinction, is called the pavon, or peacock. These birds 
were shy, and we yet were ungratified by seeing one. 

The mangroves that skirt all these streams are a curious 
feature ; the tree itself is low, and has a small stem ; but from 
this radiate in every direction towards the water long finger- 
like branches. These take root in the mud, and are really the 



CHAP, vin.] MANGROVES INSOLENCE OF PILOT VIGIA. 67 

roots of the tree, supporting the stem at some distance above the 
water. When they are small they serve for arrows to the 
Indians, being very light, and often perfectly straight. They 
not only so bind the soil as to prevent its wearing away by the 
constant flowings of the tide, but catch all sorts of drift, which 
in this way contributes to the body of the island. Indeed whole 
islands are thus formed ; and within the memory of residents an 
island of considerable size has sprung up within sight of the city 
of Para. In a similar way the thousands of islands that dot the 
whole Amazon have been formed. 

Ever since we left Para our pilot had been inclined to in- 
solence, but this afternoon, from the effects of cashaca which he 
had obtained at some of our landings, became intolerable. 

A , at last, took his' jug from him and pitched it overboard, 

giving him to understand that its owner would speedily follow 
unless he changed his tone. This cowed the fellow into better 

manners, and A sent him forward, taking the helm himself. 

No traveller will care to employ a second time one of these low 
whites or half-breeds. 

Towards evening, as we approached Vigia, we came upon a 
bank, where a large flock of ga^as, mixed with herons, spoon- 
bills, and scarlet ibises, were feeding. This was the first time 
we had seen the latter, but the sun was too low to discover all 
their beauty. By eight o'clock we had anchored off Vigia. This 
town had once been populous, and even contained a Jesuit col- 
lege ; but long since the houses had gone to decay, and the 
forest .encroached upon the streets. It is now principally in- 
habited by fishermen, and in the distant view appears like Para, 
the same building material being used. We were not to stop 
here, as our letters were to Senhor Godinho, who lived upon a 
small igaripe opposite the town, distant a few miles ; therefore 
we were early under way, although the tide was against us. In 
a high bank which we passed were several holes of kingfishers, 
and numbers of the birds, some very small, others twice the size 
of our kingfisher of the north, were flying about. At length we 
turned into the desired igaripe, and,, by dint of hard rowing and 
poling, advanced as far as the shell of a house stuck upon the 
bank, whither our pilot went for directions. The fellow kept us 
waiting a half-hour, and we pushed off without him, pleased 

f 2 



68 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vra. 

enough to repay his villanies by a long walk through the mud 
and bushes ; but the tide was out, and we lodged immovably in 
the mud, and for an hour's space were fain to keep ourselves in 
as good humour as we might under a burning sun, until the tide 
came to our relief. A beautiful red hawk sat near by, eying 
our movements, and a flock of buzzards were eating the crabs 
along the exposed mud. lumbers of little sandpipers, the 
Totanus solitarius, were running about, hasting to get their 
breakfasts before the flooding waters should return. There were 
many dead fish lying about, often of large size. We afterwards 
learned that these had been killed by poison thrown into the 
holes which they frequent at low water. 

As the tide rose, we pushed slowly on, and soon opened into a 
large clear space, at the remote end of which appeared the plant- 
ation-house. Senhor Godinho met us upon the dock which ran 
directly by the side of his mill, and welcomed us in good English 
with the greatest warmth and politeness. "We at once felt our- 
selves at home. Forthwith our luggage was unstored, a room 
was opened to the light, very much to the astonishment of the 
bats and cockroaches, and the blacksmith made his appearance 
with hooks and staples for our hammocks. We followed the 
Senhor to the verandah above, and under the cool breeze soon 
lost all thoughts of our morning's broiling. Everything about in- 
dicated opulence and plenty. Blacksmiths, carpenters, and masons 
were at work in their different vocations ; the negroes and oxen 
were driving the sugar-mills ; the steam-pipe of the distillery was 
in full blast ; and stacks of demijohns and jars were piled in the 
rooms, or standing ready to receive the cashaca or molasses. 

The house was surrounded by woods, some nearer, some farther ; 
and directly in front of the verandah was an intervening swamp. 
along whose edges cyracuras were feeding, and in the middle of 
which pigs and goats disputed empire with various small water- 
birds and a tame white heron. Beyond, to the left, and extending 
several miles, was a prairie or campo, crossed by parallel strips 
of woods, and the loud cries of parrots and toucans came swelling 
on the breeze. This was irresistible, and as soon as we could 
despatch a hearty dinner, guns in hand we sallied on a tour of 
exploration. The trees were all low, and the ground was crossed 
in every direction by the paths of the hogs, who roamed over 



CHAP, vni.] PARROTS SUN-BIRD BOATBILL. 69 

these campos, half tamed, in immense numbers. Water lay upon 
the surface of the ground, often to considerable depth, but that 
we little cared for. We soon discovered the palms upon which 
the parrots were feeding, and in a short time the boy who accom 
panied us was loaded with as many of these birds as he could carry. 
The large parrots, as they fly slowly along, have a very conjugal 
appearance ; always moving in pairs, side by side, and each and 
all discoursing with a noisy volubility that must destroy the effect 
of what they have to say. When one from a pair is brought 
down, it is amusing to see the survivor continue chattering on, 
without missing a word or altering his course ; altogether exhibit- 
ing a cool self-possession most anti-conjugal. Returning to the 
house, we busied ourselves in preserving such specimens as we 
wanted, the Senhor looking on with great interest, and relating 
anecdotes and histories of different animals and birds thereabout, 
and which in his solitude he had both time and inclination for 
observing. In the morning we were out again, and, indeed, were 
thus occupied every morning for a week, constantly obtaining 
something new and curious, besides keeping the table well sup- 
plied with game. It seems as heterodox to eat parrot as monkey, 
yet fricasseed parrot might rank favourably with most kinds of 
wild game. In a day or two one of the Senhor's men, a free 
mulatto, six feet in height, straight as an arrow, and with an eye 
like a hawk, was enlisted in our service, through his master's 
kindness. Gregorio had a companero, an Indian of like charac- 
teristics and propensities, called Francisco, and between the two 
we were under a press of business. One of the birds which they 
procured for us was the much-desired sun-bird. It was small, 
and exquisitely marked, " its plumage being shaded in bands and 
lines with brown, fawn-colour, red, gray, and black, recalling to 
our minds the most beautiful of the nocturnal Lepidoptera." We 
frequently saw this bird domesticated in other parts of the pro- 
vince, and in this state it becomes exceedingly familiar, living 
entirely on flies and other insects. Another species as curious as 
the last, though not for its beauty, was the boatbill, Cancroma 
cochlearia. It is of the heron kind, but, unlike its congeners, 
each mandible is shaped like half a keeled boat, short and broad. 
From the head long plumes extend far down the back. One 
would think that nature delighted to give the most fantastic 



TO A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. vm. 

shapes to her handiwork in these climes. Besides these dwellers 
of the water were herons of various sorts, snowy, white, blue, et 
alii, in profusion. The woods afforded us most of the species we 
had observed elsewhere, and many others entirely new. Here, a 
singular family was the Tinamus, gallinaceous birds, resembling 
pheasants in their habits, but shaped more like rails than any 
other bird, having long, slender necks, and scarcely any tails. 
They are universally known by the name of Inambu, and different 
species of the family are found throughout northern Brazil. The 
eggs of these birds are of the deepest green, and are superior to 
those of domestic fowls in taste. Here also were large, reddish- 
brown cuckoos, moving stealthily about the low trees, uttering 
at intervals the note which so generally characterizes the family, 
and searching for caterpillars, and, it may be, the eggs of the little 
and defenceless birds. The common species is the Cuculus ca- 
yanus, rather larger than our yellow-billed cuckoo, but of inferior 
beauty. Another species much resembling this in colour, but of 
half the size, is often seen, and, with far greater familiarity than 
the cayanus, comes into the orange and cuya trees, about the 
houses, in search of worms' nests. 

Upon the campo were flocks of red-breasted orioles, Icterus mi- 
litarb, of a deep-brown colour, except upon the breast and throat, 
which glow with a rich red. These birds have rather the habits 
of starlings than orioles, being usually seen upon the ground, or 
upon the low bushes which here and there diversify the campo. 

Here was also a large variety of lapwing, called Terraterra, 
from its loud and constantly repeated note. 

By the brooks, which crossed the paths through the trees, num- 
bers of pretty doves of all sizes were congregated, now proudly 
strutting with outspread tails and drooping wings, now chasing 
each other about the sandy margin, and now, with ruffled feathers, 
bathing themselves in the limpid water, and tossing the cooling 
drops over their shoulders. 

Among the low shrubs and about the cocoa-trees near the house 
were many small species of birds, none prettier than the tingtings, 
Tanagra violacea and T. chlorotica, two species of small tanagers, 
with steel-blue backs and yellow breasts, frequently -een in cages 
in Para. There was one other cage-bird we sometimes met, called 
the rossignol, or nightingale, neither more nor less than a yellow- 



CHAP, vni.] IGUANA SUGAR-CANE MILL. 71 

shouldered black oriole. It sings well, but scarcely deserves its 
honoured name. 

Besides the birds, we had a constant supply of monkeys and 
other animals for the table. Our pilot laboured zealously to re- 
instate himself in our good graces, and brought in various articles 
which he thought would assist him in effecting his purpose. One 
of his captures was a live iguana, called, in Brazil, a chameleon, 
a lizard of four feet length. He had shaken the beast from a tree, 
upon the leaves of which it was feeding, and seizing it by the neck 
and the small of the back, made it his prize. This fellow was of 
a greenish colour, and spotted. Upon his back were spines, which 
he could erect at pleasure. Upon the ground the iguanas move 
slowly, and their tail is then a powerful defensive weapon against 
their enemies, capable of inflicting a terrible lash, as this specimen 
showed us after its arrival in the city. They are much esteemed 
as food, and their eggs are sought after with avidity for the same 
purpose. Although their food consists mostly of leaves and fruits, 
yet they rob the nests of birds, as do other lizards. 

Senhor Godinho was one of the most extensive planters of the 
province, and interested us greatly by his agricultural and other 
information. The cane used in his mills was grown upon the 
borders of the igaripes, in different localities ; and so inexhaustible 
is this rich alluvium that it requires replanting but once in from 
sixteen to twenty years. Two mills constantly employed were in- 
sufficient to dispose of his yearly crop, and a large outhouse was 
filled with cane half ruined in consequence. Most of the syrup 
was converted into casha^a, that being considered more profitable 
than sugar or molasses. Instead of tuns for the liquor in the dis- 
tillery, hollowed tree-trunks were used, one alone of which con- 
tained twenty -five pipes' bulk. In the troubles of '35 the Senhor 
was compelled to flee the country, as were all other planters who 
could, and in the sacking of his place sustained great loss. He 
was a self-made Portuguese, formerly a merchant in Para, and 
his ideas were more liberal than those of his countrymen generally, 
as was evident enough from his adoption of improved machinery 
for the manufacture of his sugar instead of the methods in use at 
the time of the conquest. There were about one hundred slaves 
employed upon the plantation, and they seemed to look up to the 
Senhor with a pride and affection which he fully reciprocated. 



72 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZOX. [CHAP. vin. 

He told us that for months together he was not obliged to punish 
one of them. They all had ways of earning money for them- 
selves, and upon holidays or other times received regular wages 
for their extra labour. There was a novel custom here, usual 
upon these retired plantations. Soon after sunset all the house 
servants and the children of the estate came in form to ask the 
Senhor's blessing, which was bestowed by the motion of the cross, 
and some little phrase, as " adeos." 

It was with regret that we were compelled by time to leave 
the Campinha. In collecting we had been more than usually 
successful. The hospitality of the Senhor had exceeded what 
we had seen, even in this hospitable country. His kindness fol- 
lowed us to the last moment, for we found that, without our 
knowledge, he had sent to the boat a store of roasted fowls and 
other provisions, not the most lightly esteemed of which were 
some bottles of choice old port, that had not seen the light for 
many a long year. 

We left, intending to go below Vigia a few miles and shoot 
ibises, and for this purpose took one or two hunters with us in 

a montaria. As we passed the kingfisher bank A took the 

montaria with Francisco, and, upon overtaking us an hour after, 
brought five of the larger and one of the small birds. 

Six or seven miles below Vigia we anchored at the entrance 
of a small igaripe, beyond which the retiring tide had left ex- 
posed a broad sand-beach. Here we anticipated finding plenty 

of ibises, and forthwith started A and the hunters, with as 

great expedition as though a flock of those birds were in full 
sight and waiting to be shot. I took the matter more leisurely, 
and sans ceremonie plunged into the surf, enjoying a luxurious 
bath, and finding plenty of amusement in netting four-eyed fish, 
that were in abundance along the edge of the water. Thereafter 
I strolled along the beach for shells, but an hour's search gave 
me but one worth picking up. The water at this place is fresh 
during the rainy season and salt in summer, and probably shell- 
fish of either salt or fresh water do not flourish amid these 
changes. The blacks meanwhile were filling a basket with large 
crabs which they found in deep holes in the mud near shore. 
All the hunters returned unsuccessful, but reported ibises, or 
guerras, farther clown, and therefore we prepared to go below 



CHAP, vin.] SAND-FLIES A PET ANIMAL. 73 

in the canoe. During the day several ibises had passed by, their 
scarlet livery, of dazzling beauty, glittering in the sunlight. 
As we coasted along in the dusk of evening, we could discover 
the beach in many parts black with sand-birds that had collected 
for the night. 

We were terribly annoyed this night by the sand-flies and 
small gnats, swarms of which seemed to have scented us out and 
caused an intolerable itching. Morning found us anchored in 
an igaripe, and as soon as the tide would allow we dropped below 
to the beach. The men again were unsuccessful, bringing in 
nothing but a young spoonbill. It was now so late, and we had 
lost so much time, that we determined not to return to Vigia, 
where we had intended to pass a day or two ; therefore we bade 
adieu to our faithful hunters, feeling as much regret as if they 
had been friends of long acquaintance. A fair wind was blowing 
up the river, and the tide was favourable. The former soon 
became a tremendous gale, and the black clouds battled fearfully. 
The foresail was carried away, the blacks began to call on the 
Virgin, the frightened pilot forgot his helm, and nothing but the 

breadth of the canoe kept us from going under. A sprang 

to the helm, and in a moment consternation gave place to effec- 
tive alacrity and we were safe. By ten o'clock next morning 
we were in Para. 

A letter from Senhor Godinho to his wife requested her to 
send us a singular pet animal, which the Senhor described as 
small, having a broad tail with which, umbrella-like, it shielded 
itself from the rain, and a lightning-like capacity for moving 
among the trees, now at the bottom, and quicker than thought 
at the top. But most curious of all, and most positively certain, 
this little quadruped was hatched from an egg. We suggested 
to the Senhor various animals, but our description of none 
answered. Of course curiosity was at boiling-point. We had 
heard of furred animals with ducks' bills, and hairy fish that 
chewed the cud ; of other fishes that went on shore and climbed 
trees ; of two-headed calves, and Siamese twins ; but here at 
last was something unique an animal hatched from an egg 
more wonderful than Hydrargoses, and a speculation to make 
the fortunes of young men of enterprise. All day we waited, 
and nothing came ; the next morning dawned, the noon bell 



74 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. EC. 

tolled, and. we at last concluded that the Senhora had been loth 
to part with so singular a pet, and that the instructions of her 
honoured lord were to be unheeded. Dinner came, soup was on 
our plates, spoons were in our hands, and curiosity had expended 
itself by its own lashings, when a strange footstep was heard at 
the door-way, and a well-dressed dusky Rachel appeared bearing 

a carefully covered cuya intuitively to A . Here was the 

wonder. What is it? What can it be? What is it like? 
Down went soup-spoons ; suspense was painful. First unrolled 
a clean little white sheet second another of the same ; the 
slightest possible end of a tail protruded from under a third ; a 
little round nose and a whisker peeped from the remaining cot- 
ton ; and up leaped one of the prettiest little squirrels in the 
world. The little darling ! Everybody wanted him everybody 
played with him ; and for a long time he was the pet of thi 
family, running about the house as he listed. 

The Indians all believe that if they shoot at a squirrel the 
gun is crooked ever after. Such superstitions are common with 
respect to other animals, and, as they are harmless, deserve to be 
encouraged. 



CHAPTER IX. 

BEFORE commencing the narrative of our Amazon expedition, a 
few particulars relating to the early history of this river may 
not be uninteresting. For these I am in great part indebted to 
Southey, whose extensive work upon Brazil is the only one of 
authority readily accessible. 

Seven years after the discovery of America, Vincente Yanez 
Pinzon, who under Columbus had commanded the Nina, obtained 
a commission from the Spanish sovereigns to go in search of new 
countries. The first point at which he arrived is now called 
Cape St. Augustine, and here he landed and took formal pos- 
session of the country. Coasting thence northward the Spaniards 
came to what they called a sea of fresh water, and they supposed 
themselves in the mouth of some great river or rivers. It was 
the mouth of the Amazon. Without effecting further discovery 
beyond landing at one of the islands, Pinzon continued on to the 



CHAP, ix.] PIZAERO ORELLANA. 75 

Orinoco, and thence returned to Spain. He believed that the 
land which he had visited was India beyond the Ganges, and 
that he had sailed beyond the great city of Cathay. This expe- 
dition carried many curious productions of the country, but none 
excited so much astonishment as an opossum, an animal unknown 
in the old world. It was described as having the fore part of a 
fox, the hind part of a monkey, the feet of an ape, and the ears 
of a bat, and was sent to Seville, and then to Grenada, that the 
king and queen might see it. One or two other attempts were 
made to explore the vicinity of the entrance of the Amazon, 
within the next forty years, but without much success. 

About the year 1541 Gonzalo Pizarro heard of a country rich 
in spices to the eastward of Peru, and resolved to secure its pos- 
session. For this purpose he set out from Quito with about two 
hundred foot-soldiers, one hundred horse, and four thousand In- 
dians. Before they had advanced thirty leagues they suffered 
extremely from earthquakes and storms, hunger and cold. At 
this distance Pizarro was joined by the knight Francisco de Orel- 
lana with a small reinforcement. Continuing on, the Spaniards 
suffered terrible hardships. The Indians died or deserted, the 
soldiers wasted away, and at last, upon the river Coca, they were 
in an excessive famine. 

The Dorado of which they were in search was as distant as 
ever, but still their hopes were fed by the delusive reports of the 
natives. To obtain relief Pizarro sent forward Orellana in a 
brigantine which they had built, with fifty men, and with orders 
to proceed to a fertile country, and to return as speedily as pos- 
sible with provisions. Amid perils and disasters the knight con- 
tinued down about one hundred leagues unto the river Napo. 
The country through which he had passed was uninhabited, nor was 
there any sign of culture or of population there. It was impossible 
to return, and if they waited for the army they should perish with 
famine. Orellana conceived the adventurous hope of being him- 
self the explorer of the great river, and his men were easily per- 
suaded to acquiesce in his purpose. It was upon the last day of 
December, 1541, that the little band set forth. Sometimes they 
met friendly Indians, at others they were obliged to fight 
their way, sword in hand, through swarms of enemies. Famine 
and sickness thinned them. The river seemed interminable ; 



76 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. ix. 

still on, on. Hostile Indians increased in number ; they were 
hardly ever out of sight of their villages. It was the 8th of 
August, 1542, when they sailed out of the river. They had built 
another brigantine upon their way. anil now the two were carried 
towards the West Indies by the current. Landing upon one of 
the islands, our adventurers proceeded thence to Spain. They had 
accomplished one of the most wonderful voyages ever made, and 
were received with distinguished honours. The account published 
by Orellana and the friar who accompanied him contained so 
many fabulous inventions as to utterly destroy the authenticity 
of the whole. Not the least of these was their account of a nation 
of Amazons which they had encountered, and which thereafter 
gave the river its name. Orellana received permission to repeat 
his discoveries, with a grant of dominion. Returning, he was un- 
able to find the entrance of the river among the islands, and died 
worn out by vexation. 

In 1615 Caldeira founded the city of Para, and this was the 
first attempt by the Portuguese to colonize the river. The 
Dutch had previously formed a settlement upon the northern 
bank, some leagues above ; but, being soon driven out, the Por- 
tuguese remained sole masters. 

In 1637 the Amazon was descended a second time by two 
ecclesiastics and six soldiers. They had formed part of a large 
deputation sent to christianize the Indians upon the frontiers of 
Peru, and, meeting nothing but danger in their undertaking, had 
preferred the descent to the prospect of certain death in 
returning. 

These fathers were so stupified with fear as to be unable to 
give any intelligible account of what they had seen, except hor- 
rible narrations of cannibal Indians. They were treated most 
courteously by the Governor of Para, and in sending th6m home 
that officer availed himself of the opportunity to cover his usurp- 
ation of the magistracy of the province by an offer to do the 
State service in exploring the river. His proposition was ap- 
proved, and Pedro Teixera was appointed commander of the ex- 
pedition. He left Para the 28th of October, 1637, with seventy 
soldiers and twelve hundred native bowmen and rowers, making 
with their women and slaves two thousand persons in all, and 
embarked in forty-five canoes. The adventurers arrived, late in 



CHAP, ix.] TEIXERA ACUNA INDIAN TRIBES. 77 

the succeeding year, at Quito, and their advent was celebrated 
by processions and bull-fights. 

The journal and map of Teixera were despatched to the Vice- 
roy of Peru, and this officer ordered Teixera to return, taking 
competent companions, who should survey the river, and prepare 
a report of its wonders for the Court at Madrid. Two professors 
were chosen for the purpose, Acuna and Artieda, and from their 
published narrative we have the first authentic accounts of the 
Amazon. Embarking upon one of the small streams near Quito, 
the party soon arrived at the Napo. Here they encountered a 
tribe of Indians called Encabellados, or long-haired ; so called 
from the custom with both sexes of suffering their hair to reach 
below the knees. They were formidable enemies, and were con- 
stantly at war with neighbouring tribes. They were cannibals ; 
and in battle their weapon was the dart. Farther down was the 
country of the Omaguas, or flat-heads, whose peculiar custom 
resembled that of certain tribes of North American Indians. 
This was the most civilized, rational, and docile tribe upon the 
whole river. They grew and manufactured cotton, and made it 
an article of traffic with their neighbours. From this tribe was 
first learned the use of the seringa or rubber. They possessed 
the islands in the river for an extent of two hundred leagues, and 
were constantly warring with the Urinas on the south side and 
the Tucunas on the north. The latter of these believed in me- 
tempsychosis and worshipped a household idol. They were clothed 
about the loins with the bark of a tree, and were remarkable for 
their skill in stuffing birds which they shot with the blow-gun. 
The Urinas were cannibals, shaved the crown of the head, and 
wore feathers of macaws in the corners of their mouths, besides 
strings of shells pendent from ears, nostrils, and under lip. 

Passing many other curious tribes, differing in customs and 
character, our adventurers came to the country of the great tribe 
called Curiciraris, who possessed an extent of eighty leagues in 
the vicinity of the river now called Juma. Their settlements 
were almost continuous. They were the shyest tribe upon the 
river, but among the most improved. They were excellent pot- 
ters, making not only jars and pans, but even ovens and frying- 
pans, and in these they trafficked with other tribes. Here were 
first perceived golden ornaments, and Teixera was assured of a 



78 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. ix. 

river of gold, running from the mountains some days' journey to 
the northward. 

Not far below was the great river Jupura, so called from a 
tribe of Indians thus denominated from a fruit of which they made 
a black paste for food. This river is one of the greatest tribu- 
taries of the Amazon. 

The next considerable river was the Puros, named also from 
the tribe upon its banks. Here Teixera heard of a tribe of enor- 
mous giants, dwelling two months' voyage up the river. The 
Puros were remarkable for their expiatory fasts, during which no 
state of infirmity or disease was admitted as a relaxation, and 
numbers actually died of abstinence from food. 

Below the mouth of the Puros, upon the southern side, were 
the Caripunas and Zurinas, tribes remarkable for their skill in 
carving. 

The next river of note was the Rio Negro. Here were rumours 
of remote people wearing hats and garments, and the voyagers 
concluded that this fashion was learned in consequence of their 
vicinity to some Spanish city. They also heard of a great river 
to the north, communicating by a branch with the Rio Negro. 
This was the Orinoco, but geographers were long incredulous as 
to the existence of such a connection. 

The next great river was the Madeira, so named from the 
great quantities of wood floating down its current. Twenty-eight 
leagues below was a great island, possessed by the Tupinambas, 
and called after their name. This tribe reported their ancestors 
to have emigrated from the region of Pernambuco to escape the 
Portuguese. They were expert archers. They reported two 
remarkable races upon the southern shore, one of whom were 
dwarfs, not bigger than little children, and the others singular 
from their feet, which grew backwards. They also reported the 
existence of a nation of Amazons, and gave minute details of 
their appearance and habits. Whether such a nation ever existed 
or not can never be ascertained ; but it is most remarkable that 
almost every tribe throughout Brazil, even those most separated, 
and speaking entirely different languages, should have believed 
in their existence. When Condamine descended the river, in 
1743, he omitted no opportunity of inquiring after the Amazons, 
and invariably received the same reports. 



CHAP, ix.] NUMBER AND CUSTOMS OF TRIBES. 70 

Below the island of the Tupinambas, about eighty leagues, 
was the river Topajos, named from the tribe so denominated. 
These Indians were dreaded by the Portuguese, for their arrows 
were venomed with so powerful a poison that the slightest punc- 
ture occasioned inevitable death. Here were Portuguese settlers 
and a fort on the present site of Santarem. Continuing on, our 
voyagers passed many lesser rivers, and heard rumours of gold 
and diamonds far in the interior. 

They arrived in Para upon the 12th of December, 1639, 
having scarcely met with an accident, and having enjoyed a most 
delightful voyage. They represented the country through which 
they had passed as rich beyond belief, capable of yielding all 
tropical productions ; the forests filled with wild animals and 
game, and the river teeming with fish and turtle. Everywhere 
were inestimable gums and drugs, and for ship-building there 
were timbers of the greatest strength and beauty. 

The number of tribes were estimated at one hundred and fifty, 
speaking different languages, and bordering so closely that the 
sound of an axe in the villages of one might be heard in the 
villages of another. Their arms were bows and arrows, their 
shields of the skin of the cow-fish, or of plaited cane. Their 
canoes were of cedars, caught floating in the stream ; their 
hatchets were of turtle-shell ; their mallets the jaw-bone of the 
cow-fish ; and with these they made tables, seats, and other 
articles of beautiful workmanship. They had idols of their own 
making, each distinguished by some fit symbol ; and they had 
priests, or conjurors. They were of a less dark complexion than 
other Brazilian nations ; were well made, and of good stature, 
of quick understanding, docile, disposed to receive any instruc- 
tion from their guests, and to render them any assistance. 

The Amazon, in its natural features, is the same now as when 
Acuna descended ; and the rapturous descriptions which he has 
given of these wild forests and mighty streams might have been 
written to-day. But where are the one hundred and fifty tribes 
who then skirted its borders, and the villages so thickly populated ? 

Most of the Brazilian Indians spoke languages somewhat re- 
sembling each other. The Tupi, in its dialects, prevailed in 
Brazil ; as the Guarani in Paraguay, and the Omagua in Peru. 
Of these three the second is the parent, as the Greek is of the 



80 A VOYAGE L'P THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. ix. 

Latin. The Jesuits in Brazil adopted the Tupi ; and this, under 
the present name of the Lingoa Geral, or general language, is 
understood by every Indian. Still each tribe has its own peculiar 
dialect ; and those iu contact with the whites speak also the 
Portuguese. 

The Tupi races were cannibals, and it was only after long and 
unwearied exertion that the Jesuits could succeed in abolishing 
that practice. Rumour speaks still of cannibal Indians, but we 
never were able to obtain any account of such tribes that deserved 
a moment's credence. 

The Jesuits were always the firm friends of the Indians, and 
entertained the noble conception of civilizing and christianizing 
those unnumbered millions of wild men, and of elevating them, 
within a very few generations, to a rank with other nations of 
the earth ; they gathered them in villages, taught them the 
lingoa geral, and instructed them in arts and agriculture. They 
opposed most determinedly the enslaving of the Indians and the 
cruelties of the whites. The Carmelites as resolutely defended 
the colonists ; and the history of this province for a long course 
of years is little more than the detail of the struggle between 
these rival orders. The monks were victorious ; the Jesuits 
were forced to leave the country, and were transported like 
felons to the dungeons of Portugal ; their property in Brazil 
was confiscated, and at this moment there is scarcely a public 
edifice in the province of Para but that belonged to them. The 
government undertook to carry out the beneficent plan of the 
Jesuits ; and for this purpose sent friars through the wilderness 
to collect together the Indians, and offered them the rights of 
freemen. But, partly owing to the inefficiency of the means, and 
partly to obstructions thrown in the way by the colonists, the 
system introduced by the government proved ineffectual in pre- 
venting the diminution of the tribes, or in materially bettering 
the condition of the few who were willing to embrace its offers. 
Although nominally freemen, they are really the slaves of any 
white man who settles among them ; and this must be the case 
so long as they feel their real inferiority. The only hope for 
them is, that in course of a few generations their race will be so 
amalgamated with that of the whites as to remove all dis- 
tinction. But, as far as our observations extended, their con- 



CHAP, x.] COMPULSORY LABOUR. 81 

dition was superior, morally, to that of the frontier Indians in 
North America. 

The head men or chiefs of the different settlements are de- 
nominated Ta^has, and have the rank and wear the uniform of 
colonels in the Brazilian service. In each district is also a capitan 
des trabalhadores, or captain of the labourers, and to him belongs 
the general supervision of the Indians and free negroes. If a 
certain number of men are required to navigate a vessel, or for 
any other purpose, the capitan sends a requisition to the tauha, 
and the men must be forthcoming, no matter what may be their 
private engagements. This looks very like compulsion, but it is 
really no more so than jury duty. The men make a voyage to 
the city and back, and are then discharged, perhaps not to be 
recalled for several months. They are paid stipulated wages and 
rations, and are sure of good treatment ; for, besides that they have 
their own remedy, by running away, which they will do upon 
the least affront, the law throws over them strong protections. 
While we were at the Barra of the Rio Negro, a white man was 
lingering out a three years' imprisonment for merely striking an 
Indian in his employ. The government has been sometimes 
severely censured for its conduct towards the Indians, but it is 
difficult to see what more it could do for them than it has done. 



CHAPTER X. 

IT was no easy matter to put all things in readiness for an ex- 
pedition up the river. It was like preparing for a family move- 
ment to the Oregon. In addition to Mr. Bradley, two other 
gentlemen were to accompany us : Mr. McCulloch, the pro- 
prietor of a saw-mill at the Barra de Rio Negro, who had lately 
come down, with a raft of cedar-boards, to within a few days' 
sail of the city ; and Mr. Williams, a young gentleman from 
Newark, New Jersey, staying, like ourselves, at Mr. Norris's, 
and who desired a further acquaintance with the wonders of 
the interior. 

The boat in which we were to make our cruise was called a 
galliota, a sort of pleasure-craft, but well adapted to such ex- 

G 



82 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON'. [CHAP. x. 

cursions. It was thirty feet in length, having a round, canoe 
bottom, and without a keel ; its greatest width was seven feet ; 
the after part was a cabin, lined on either side, and at the remote 
end, with lockers for provisions and other matters. Upon each 
locker was scanty room for one sleeper, and two could lie com- 
fortably upon the floor, while another swung above them in a 
hammock. In front of the cabin-door was a tiny deck, and 
beyond this, covering the hold, and extending to within two feet 
of the extreme bow, was the tolda, covered with canvass, and 
intended for the stowage of goods or baggage. On either side 
of this tolda was a space a foot in width, and level. Here, in 
most awkward positions, were to sit the paddlers. 

These were Indians, mostly of the Mura tribe, heretofore 
spoken of as the worst upon the river. They were from a little 
village below the Rio Negro, and consisted of a taucha and five 
of his sons, the eldest of whom, the heir-apparent, had liis wife 
and two small children in the bow. Besides these, was a pilot 
and three others, making altogether eighteen persons. 

The after-part of the cabin, and the whole tolda, with barely 
room enough for our trunks, and the fish and farinha for the 
crew, were cramned with Bradley's goods, bringing the deck 
within a few inches of the water. 

Our main stock of provisions was to be laid in at Para, and 
the lockers and every spare corner were occupied in their stow- 
age. We had a couple of hams, great store of ground coffee, 
tea, sugar, coarse salt, onions, sardines, oil, vinegar, molasses, 
candles, tin cases of cheese, and two large bags of oven-dried 
bread. Sundry demijohns of wine and cashaca comprised the 
stock of drinkables, the former being for home consumption, the 
latter for rations to the crew. In addition to these things, several 
of our lady friends had contributed huge loaves of cake and 
Yankee dough-nuts, and jars of doces not a few. Not the least 
acceptable were some pots of New York oysters, from a clever 
captain in the harbour. 

We did not anticipate that a forty days' passage in this over- 
loaded boat would be without all sorts of inconveniences ; but 
such an adventure had charms enough, and we were determined 
to have a jolly cruise, the household gods nolentes volentes, as 
General Taylor would say. 



CHAP, x.] INDIANS DIFFICULTIES AT STARTING. 83 

No vessel can pass the fort at Gurupa without a permit from 
the authorities at Para, and all voyagers on the river must pro- 
vide themselves with passports. These we obtained without 
difficulty, and at slight expense. Dr. Costa, Mr. Campbell, and 
other friends, furnished us with letters to persons of note in the 
different towns which we were to pass. 

At last, upon the 23rd of May, we were fairly on board, and 
ready to start with the tide. But here occurred a difficulty, and 
an ominous one, at the outset. Six of the Indians had given us 
the slip, not caring to return thus soon to the Rio Negro. Our 
remedies were patience and police, and we resigned ourselves to 
the one, hunting the runaways with the other. Towards night 
they were brought in, and now, going on board again, we 
moored outside of a large canoe, to prevent a like disaster, and 
waited the midnight tide. Rain poured furiously, but we gathered 
ourselves around a trunk-table, and ate and drank long life to 
our friends, and a pleasant passage to ourselves. The Indians 
huddled about the door, feasting their eyes and muttering their 
criticisms, but their envy was speedily dissipated by a distribu- 
tion of cashaca and biscuit, with a plate of oysters to the taucha. 
The old fellow bore his honour king-like, and, I fancy, was the 
first South American potentate that ever tasted Downing's best. 

There was still opportunity for a short nap before the tide 
would serve, and we awaked just in time ; but now was another 
trouble. The Indians, having no fear of wholesome discipline 
before their eyes, were desperately determined not to be awaked, 
and, but for the ruse of calling them to a " nip " of cashaca, we 
might have lost the tide again. The effect was electrical, and 
they started from their deep slumbers, each striving to be fore- 
most. There was one boy, however, who skulked into a monta- 
ria behind the large canoe, and would only be induced to come 
on board again by the capture of his trunk. Five on a side, they 
took their places. The taucha planted himself on the top, 
having a proper idea of prerogative ; the children hid themselves 
away among the farinha baskets ; and the princess covered herself 
in the bow, and prepared to sleep. 

Our course was the same that we had formerly taken towards 
Caripe, and by noon we had arrived at the house of Senhor Lima, 
a trader, within two miles of that place. Here we stopped, not 

G2 



84 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. x. 

caring to pass the bay of Marajo by night, and improved the 
opportunity to make a sail. As the tide rose, towards night, 
word was brought that the galliota was leaking at such a rate as 
to endanger the goods. No alternative was left but to unload 
her with all speed, and it was only by the most active exertions 
that she was kept from swamping. All the goods were piled in 
the verandah, and the lady of the house allowed us the small 
chapel in which to dry some of the articles. We sent her a box 
of sardines in token of our gratitude, and it seemed to unlock 
her heart-chambers, for forthwith appeared a servant to attend 
our table, bringing a silver teapot and various other appliances 
for our comfort. Slinging our hammocks in the verandah about 
the goods we slept in the open air. During the night we were 
startled by a singular incident, trivial enough in itself, but one 
that carried us back to home scenes. Some voyager passed us, 
singing an air frequently sung in Sunday-schools at home, and 
known as the ' Parting Hymn.' "We little thought, when last 
we heard it hymned by a congregation of children, that we were 
next to listen to it upon the far distant waters of the Amazon. 
The words were not distinguishable. We started the same tune 
in return, but the voyager was already beyond the reach of our 
voices, and lost behind a point of the island. Who this could 
have been we were unable to ascertain at Para upon our return. 
It was not an American. 

Repairing the galliota detained us two days, but, everything 
being carefully repacked, and the boat cleansed, we were amply 
repaid. Starting again on the 25th, we hoisted our new lug-sail, 
and a fine breeze soon swept us past Caripe, our old shellin|r- 
ground. Full tide forced us to lie by at noon, and we brought 
up under a high bank, upon which was a sideless hut, containing 
a woman and children. The rest of the family, it being Sunday, 
had gone off to a festa in the neighbourhood. The first impulse 
of the Indians upon reaching shore was to look out for some 
shade where they might stretch themselves to sleep. One or 
two of the more active, however, started out with a gun, and, 
before long, returned with a live sloth, which they had obtained 
by climbing the tree upon which he was suspended. This was 
of a different species from those we had seen near Para. The 
beach was broad and sandy, and we amused ourselves with 



CHAP. x.J A STORM ANOTHER SITIO. 85 

bathing, and searching for flowers and seeds thrown up by the 
tide. Among the flowers was one most conspicuous, of the Big- 
nonia family, large, yellow, and sprinkling in profusion the dark 
green of the tree which it had climbed. Wandering on some 
distance, we found ourselves in a little cove, secluded from the 
sunlight by a high rocky bank, and so dark that bats were clus- 
tering about the tree-trunks in numbers. The temptation was 
too strong, and we imitated the good example of the Indians. 

By sunset we were again pressing on, and, in the early even- 
ing, coasted along several miles. The shore hereabouts was lined 
with ragged sand-rocks, and in case of squalls, which occur 
almost daily during the rainy season, the navigation is hazard- 
ous. Our own situation began to cause us some anxiety. Several 
times the bottom of the galliota had scraped upon the rocks, and 
we were only forced off by the Indians springing into the water 
and dragging us free, A storm was gathering, and vivid light- 
ning and low growling thunder betokened its near approach. A 
man at the bow constantly reported the water more and more 
shallow, and the rising waves dashed hoarsely upon the near 
rocks. But just then a little igaripe opened its friendly arms, 
and, almost in a moment, we were beyond harm's reach in water 
calm as a lake. 

The morning dawned pleasantly, and, a fine breeze springing 
up, we soon crossed the bay, and by noon had arrived at a nice 
beach, upon which was a grove of assai-palms loaded with fruit. 
Here we stopped to fill our panellas. Continuing on a few miles, 
we struck into a narrow channel, and came to an inviting-looking 
house, where we concluded to await the gathering storm. The 
occupants were two Brazilians, of a better class than we had seen 
since leaving the city, and we were received with warmth. The 
frame of the house was covered entirely, even to the room-parti- 
tions, by the narrow leaves of a species of palm, platted with 
the regularity of basket-work. A quantity of cacao lay drying 
upon elevated platforms, and around the house hung much dried 
venison. Deer were abundant here, and one had been killed that 
morning. But what gratified us most was a goodly flock of 
hens, and we at once commenced a parley for a pair, for we had 
become somewhat tired of ham. Meanwhile the women had 
been preparing our assai. 



Si A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. x. 

The region of country that we were now in was exceedingly 
low, mostly overflowed at high water. The waters had fallen 
about a foot, but still everything around this house was wet, and 
we had only gained access to it by walking from the boat on logs. 

The next day, the 27th, we coasted along Marajo, observing 
manv novel plants and birds. One species of palm particularly 
attracted attention, its long feather-like leaves growing directly 
out of the ground, and arranged in the form of a shuttlecock. 
There now began to be great numbers of macaws, red and blue, 
flying always in pairs, and keeping up a hoarse, disagreeable 
screaming. We passed what was formerly a large and valuable 
estate, still having fine-looking buildings and a chapel. It had 
belonged to Mr. Campbell, and, like many another, had been 
ruined during the revolution of '35. 

We crossed the mouth of the Tocantins, but without bei liable 
to discern either shore of that river. It appeared a broad sea, 
everywhere dotted with islands. The Tocantins is one of the 
largest Amazon branches, and pours a vast volume of water into 
Marajo bay. This particular portion of that bay is called the 
Bay of Limoeiro, and is crossed by vessels bound to Para from 
the Amazon, in preference to the route which we had taken. 
The Tocantins, and a few small streams nearer the city, are often 
considered the legitimate formers of Para river. But through 
numerous channels a wide body of water from the Amazon 
sweeps round Marajo, and the Gram Pard is a fair claimant to 
all the honours of the King of Waters. 

The Tocantins is bordered by many towns, and is the channel 
of a large trade. The upper country is a mineral region and 
diversified by beautiful mountain scenery. The banks yield 
fustic and numerous other woods, valuable as dyes, or for cabinet- 
work ; and if the efforts to establish a saw-mill, now in contem- 
plation, be successful, these beautiful woods w r ill soon be known 
as they deserve. Great quantities of castanha-nufs also come 
down the river. The town of Cameta, between thirty and forty 
miles from its mouth, contains about twenty-five hundred inhabit- 
ants, and is in the midst of an extensive cacao-growing region. 
This was the only town upon the Amazon that successfully 
resisted the rebels in 1835. The Tocantins is navigable for steam- 
boats or large vessels for a great distance. 



CHAP, x.] WOOD SCENE INDIAN HABITS. 87 

Since the 26th we had been sailing among islands, often very 
near together, and again several miles apart. Upon the 28th we 
were unable to effect a landing until noon, so densely was the 
shore lined with low shrubs. Upon these sat hundreds of a large 
reddish bird, known by the name of Cigana, and common upon 
the whole Amazon the Opisthocomus cristatus (Lath.). 

Having reached a spot where the bank was a little higher than 
elsewhere, we landed. A small opening between the trees 
allowed ingress, and we found ourselves in a fairy bower. How 
much we longed for the ability of sketching these places, so 
common here, so rare elsewhere ! Not the least interesting 
feature was the group of Indians about the blazing fire, some 
attending to their fish, which was roasting on sticks, inclined 
over the flame ; others sitting listlessly by, or catching a hasty 
nap upon their palm-leaves. A tree bearing superb crimson 
flowers shaded the boat, and a large blue butterfly was con- 
tinually flitting in and out among the trees, as if sporting with 
our vain attempts to entrap him. Not far off, macaws were 
screaming, and the shrill whistle, observed in the woods near 
Pard, sounded from every direction. 

We had now been nearly a week in the galliota, and, although 
somewhat crowded, had got along very comfortably. The only 
inconvenience was the sultry heat of the afternoon ; for, in these 
narrow channels, the wind had little scope. But no matter how 
severe the heat, the Indians seemed not to mind it, although 
their heads were uncovered and their bodies naked. Every day, 
about noon, they would pull up to the bank for the purpose of 
bathing, of which they were extravagantly fond. Even the little 
boys would swim about like ducks. Their mother, the princess, 
had quite won our esteem by her quiet, modest demeanour. 
Her principal care was to look after the children, but she spent 
her spare hours in making cuyas from gourds, or in sewing for 
herself or her husband. He, good man, seemed very fond of her 
(which would not have been surprising, except in an Indian), and 
always paddled at her side. He might have been proud of her, 
even had his potentacy expectant been more elevated, for she was 
very pretty, and her hands and arms might have excited the envy 
of many a whiter belle. 

Early upon the 29th we arrived at Braves, a little settlement, 



88 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. U CHAP. x. 

where was lying Mr. McCulloch's raft. Upon this was stationed 
a " down-east " lumberman, by name Sawtelle, who was to add 
another to our full cabin. We were to remain at Braves until 
the arrival of a large vessel, or battalon, which was engaged in 
the transportation of the boards ; and as this was likely to be 
some days, we unloaded upon the raft, slung our hammocks under 
the thatched cabin, and sent the galliota, again badly leaking, 
to be recalked. 

Braves is one of the little towns that have grown up since the 
active demand for rubber, of which the surrounding district 
yields vast quantities. It is a small collection of houses, partly 
thatched and partly of mud, stationed anywhere, regardless of 
streets or right lines. Bradley and I started to explore for eggs 
whereon to breakfast. We found our way to a little affair called 
a store, or venda, in front of which a number of leisurely gentle- 
men were rolling balls at one-pin. We were politely greeted 
with the raised hat and the customary " viva," and a chance at 
the pin was as politely offered, which with many thanks we were 
obliged to decline. Our errand was not very successful, for upon 
the next Sunday was to be a festa in the vicinity, and the hens 
were all engaged for that occasion. At one of the houses an old 
Indian woman was painting pottery, that is plates, and what she 
called "pombos" and "gallos," or doves and cocks, but bearing 
a very slight resemblance to those birds. Another was painting 
bilhas, or small water-jars, of white clay and beautiful work- 
manship. She promised to glaze anything I would paint, giving 
me the use of her colours. So I chose a pair of the prettiest 
bilhas, and, after a consultation on the raft, we concluded to 
commemorate our travels by a sketch of the galliota. It was a 
novel business, but after several trials I made a very fair picture, 
with the aid of contemporary criticisms. The old tau9ha was 
mightily pleased to see himself so honoured, as were the others, 
who gathered round, watching eveiy movement of the pencil, 
and expressing their astonishment. The figure of the princess 
especially excited uproarious applause. Beside these were several 
other devices, and at last, all complete, I took my adventure to 
the old woman. But she was provoked at something, and would 
not be persuaded to apply the glazing. However, after much 
coaxing and many promises, she assured us that we should have 



CHAP, x.] POTTERY PAINTING FILING THE TEETH. 89 

them on our return down the river. The colours she used were 
all simple. The blue was indigo ; black, the juice of the 
mandioca ; green, the juice of some other plant. ; and red and 
yellow were of clay. The brushes were small spines of palms, 
and the colouring was applied in squares or circles ; or, if any- 
thing imitative was intended, in the rudest outline. The ware 
was glazed by a resinous gum found in the forest. This was 
rubbed gently over, the vessel previously having been warmed 
over a bed of -coals. 

The stream opposite Braves was one-fourth of a mile wide, and 
beyond was an island heavily wooded. Thither we sent a hunter 
every day, and he usually brought in some kind of game a 
howling monkey or macaw. For ourselves-, we were confined 
pretty much to the raft, the region about the town being nothing 
but swamp; yet still we found opportunity to increase our 
collection of birds by a few specimens hitherto unknown to us, 
particularly the Cayenne manikin and the Picus cayanensis. 

The Indians, meanwhile, had found a quantity of rattan, and 
were busily engaged in weaving a sort of covering or protection 
from the rain. Two long cradle-shaped baskets were made, one 
fitting within the other, the broad banana-leaves being laid 
between ; and under this they could sleep securely. 

We were struck, at Braves, by the appearance of some Por- 
tuguese boys, whose teeth had been sharpened in the Indian 
manner. The custom is quite fashionable among that class who 
come over seeking their fortunes, they evidently considering it 
as a sort of naturalization. The blade of a knife or razor is 
laid across the edge of the tooth, and by a slight blow and dex- 
terous turn a piece is chipped off on either side. All the front 
teeth, above and below, are thus served ; and they give a person a 
very odd, and, to a stranger, a very disagreeable appearance. For 
some days after the operation is performed the patient is unable 
to eat or drink without severe pain ; but soon the teeth lose their 
sensitiveness, and then seem to decay no faster than the others. 

One day there was a funeral of a child. For some time pre- 
vious to the burial the little thing was laid out upon a table, 
prettily dressed and crowned with flowers. The mother sat 
cheerfully by its side, and received the congratulations of her 
friends that her little one was now an angel. 



90 A VOYAGE UP THE KIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. x. 

On the morning of June 1st we were delighted to see the bat- 
talon come swiftly up with the tide, and made immediate prepa- 
rations for departure. Now was trouble again with the Indians. 
Some of the tauha's boys wanted to return to Para, and the old 
fellow evidently did not care whether they did or no, notwith- 
standing his oft-repeated assurances that he would keep them in 
order. His authority was very questionable, and we were getting 
tired of his lazy inefficiency. The old remedy was tried, and 
again we were conquerors. These difficulties are incident to every 
navigator upon the river ; for, upon the slightest whim, an Indian 
is ready to desert, and often, the detention of their little baggage, 
or the wages accruing to them, is matter of perfect indifference. 

The morning of the 2nd found us in a narrow stream, winding 
among small islands which were densely covered with palms. 
Landing in what was almost entirely a palm-swamp, we amused 
ourselves a long time by observing the different varieties, of which 
we had no means of ascertaining the name, and in collecting the 
fruits. Here were numbers of the shuttlecock palms ; and their 
large leaves, spread upon the wet ground, made the Indians a 
comfortable bed. There are more than one hundred described 
species of palms in Brazil, growing to some extent almost every- 
where. But, within the province of Pard, by far the larger por- 
tion are upon the islands at the mouth of the river ; upon the 
islands above, and upon the mainland, they are comparatively rare. 

Leaving the palms, we came to a region abounding in huge 
trees, where the shore was everywhere easy of access. Here were 
numbers of seringa- trees, and we passed many habitations of the 
gum-collectors. These were merely roofed, or thatched on one 
side, and very often the water rose to the very door. No fruit- 
trees of any sort were there, nor was there sign of cultivation. 
The forest around w as just sufficiently cleared to avoid danger 
from falling trees, or to let in a glimpse of the sun. In these 
miserable places were always families, and thus they live all the 
year round, eating nothing but fish and farinha, and their situa- 
tion oniv bettered in summer by less dampness. 

We now entered one of the direct channels from the Amazon, 
called the Tapajani. It was half a mile in width, and through 
it poured a furious current. Here we saw a sloth, climbing, hand 
over hand, up an assai-palm by the water ; and here also we first 



CHAP, x.] HOWLING MONKEYS A MACAW-HUNT. 91 

heard in perfection the guariba, or howling monkey. There 
were a number of them, some near by, and others at a great dis- 
tance ; all contributing to an infernal noise, not comparable to 
anything, unless a commingling of the roaring of mad bulls and 
the squealing of mad pigs. This roaring power is owing to the 
peculiar conformation of the bones of the mouth, by which they 
are distinguished from all others of the family. We got quite up 
to a pair of these fellows, as they were making all ring, deafening 
even themselves. They were in a tree-top close by the water, 

and a shot from A brought down one of them. But, recovering 

himself, he made off as fast as he was able through the bushes. 

Immediately the boat was stopped, and A , with several of 

the Indians, sprang on shore in pursuit, but without success. 
There were still some young ones in the tree, and another shot 
sent tumbling one of these. But he too saved himself, twisting his 
tail about a limb as he fell, and, in a twinkling, he was snug in a 
corner safe from our eyes. Monkey-hunts often end so. 

Leaving the Tapajani, we were still separated from the main 
current of the Amazon by a long island two or three miles distant, 
and it was noon of the 5th before, through the space intervening 
between this and an island above, we were able to distinguish the 
northern shore twenty miles away. The bank near us was bold, 
and evidently the force of the current was continually wearing 
upon it, and undermining the enormous trees that towered with 
a grandeur befitting the dwellers by this unequalled river. Often 
the boat struck upon some concealed limb or trunk, usually only 
requiring us to back off, but sometimes making us stick fast. In 
such cases several of the boys would jump into the water, and in 
a great frolic drag us free. 

Towards evening we came to a place where the macaws were 
assembling to roost. Disturbed by our approach, they circled 

over our heads in great numbers, screaming outrageously. A 

caught a gun, and as one of them came plump into the water, 
winged, tau^ha, men, women, and children set up a shout of ad- 
miration. Two of the boys were instantly in the stream in chase 
of the bird, which was making rapid strokes towards a clump of 
bushes. Macaw arrived first, and, for joy at his deliverance, 
laughed in exultation ; but a blow of a pole knocked him into the 
water again, and a towel over his nose soon made him prisoner 



92 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP, xt 

upon our own terms. The poor fellow struggled lustily, roaring-, 
and using- bill and *oes to good purpose. His sympathising 
brethren flew round and round, screaming in concert; and it was 
not until another shot had cut off the tail of one of the most noisy 
that they began to credit us for being in earnest. Our specimen 
was of the blue and yellow variety. During the night we re- 
peatedly sailed by trees where these birds were roosting, and upon 

one dry branch A , whose watch it was, counted eighteen. 

The opportunity was tempting, but we were under press for Gu- 
rupa, and could not delay. The Indians were as anxious for a rest 
as ourselves, and all night pulled with scarcely an intermission. 



CHAPTER XI. 

EARLY on the 6th Gurupa was in sight. As we drew near we 
were hailed from the fort in some outlandish tongue, inquiring, 
probably, if we intended to storm the town. Our answer was in 
English, and they seemed as well satisfied as though they had 
comprehended it, bidding us pass on. The town does not present 
a very striking appearance from the water, merely the tops of 
half a dozen houses being visible. The landing was at the upper 
end, and there we moored, among numbers of little craft which 
had collected from the vicinity, for the day was a festa. 

Gurupa was formerly considered the key to the river, and was 
of great service to the early colonists in preventing the encroach- 
ments of other nations. Now it is of little consequence, and 
has but a scanty trade. Its population numbers a few hundred. 
Superior sarsaparilla, or salsa, is taken to Para from this vicinity. 
The situation of the town is fine. In front, a long island stretches 
far down the river, called the Isle of Paroquets. Above, ar.d 
within a few miles, are two other islands, both small, and beautiful 
from their circular shape. Upon the Isle of Paroquets all kinds 
of parrots and macaws were now preparing to breed in vast flocks, 
and this accounted for the unusual numbers which we had seen 
within a few days. 

We had a letter from Dr. Costa to the Commandante, and 
suitable respect, moreover, demanded a display of passports ; so, 



CHAP, xi.] AN EGG-HUNT STORM CA'RAP ANA'S. 93 

after breakfasting on the beach, A and Bradley went up to 

his Excellency's house. The Commandante was very polite in 
his attentions, and pressed us strongly to remain to a dance 
which he was to give in the evening. But if we could only wait 
until afternoon, he would send us some fresh beef; and, at any 
rate, upon our return, we must stay with him at least a fortnight. 
While our two diplomatists were thus engaged, Sawtelle under- 
took the customary search for eggs ; and the first person he made 
inquiry of for these indispensables was the schoolmaster, who, 
with his dignity all upon him, and his scholars about him, was 
discharging his usual duties. Yes, the schoolmaster had eggs, 
and at once started to bring them, careless of dignity, duties, and 
all. In his absence our messenger despatched the scholars to 
their respective homes on a like errand, and soon they returned 
with one, two, and three apiece, until our cuya was filled. There 
are no County Superintendents, or Boards of Trustees, in Brazil. 

A fresh breeze had sprung up, and we hastened away. A few 
miles above Gurupa the clouds began to darken, the waves were 
rising ominously, and there was every appearance of a squall : 
several canoes, which had been on the same course, had hauled in- 
shore, and their crews seemed to look upon us with astonishment 

as we swept by them. A was on deck as usual, watching 

the sail, and the Indians, half frightened at our speed, kept every 
eye on him. Suddenly a halyard parted, the sail flaunted out, the 
boat tipped, and there was not an Indian on board but crossed 
himself and called on Nossa Senhora. Perhaps Nossa Senhora 
heard them, and was willing to do them a good turn, for very 
soon the wind died away, and the bright sun made all smile again. 

Soon after dark we crossed the mouth of the Xingu (Shingu), 
much to the displeasure of the Indians, who wished to stop upon 
the lower side. And they were very right ; for scarcely had we 
crossed when we were beset by such swarms of carapanas, or 
musquitoes, as put all sleep at defiance. Nets were of no avail, 
even if the oppressive heat would have allowed them, for those 
which could not creep through the meshes would in some other 
way find entrance, in spite of every precaution. Thick breeches 
they laughed at, and the cabin seemed the interior of a bee-hive. 
This would not do, so we tried the deck ; but fresh swarms con- 
tinually poured over us, and all night long we were foaming 



94 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xi. 

with vexation and rage. The Indians fared little better, and 
preferred paddling on to anchoring near shore. The English 
consul at Para had told us, " Ye'll be ate up alive intirely," and 
certainly this began to look much like it. Moreover, we were 
told for consolation that this was but the advanced guard. It is 
very remarkable that carapanas are not found to any troublesome 
extent below the Xingu. The country is low, and much of it 
wet, yet, from some cause, does not favour these little pests. 

The Xingu is a noble river, in length nearly equal to the 
Tocantins. At its mouth it expands to a width of several miles, 
and is there profusely dotted with islands. From the Xingu the 
best rubber is brought, and a number of small settlements along 
the banks are supported by that trade. 

Soon after sunrise upon the 7th we brought up alongside of 
a large cedar-log, the land being inaccessible, or rather being 
entirely overflowed, and speedily we had a rousinsr fire kindled 
between two of the roots. This cedar is a beautiful wood, light 
as pine, and, when polished, of fine colour. Most of the woods 
of the country are protected against the ravages of insects by 
their hardness, but the cedar is filled with a fragrant resinous 
gum which every insect detests. It grows mostly upon the 
Japura, and other upper branches of the Amazon, and is almost 
the only wood seen floating in the river. At certain points 
along the shores vast numbers of the logs are collected, and, were 
mill-streams common, might be turned to profitable purpose. 

Just before we had reached our mooring a full-sized harpy 
eagle perched upon a tree near the water, his crest erect, and 
his appearance noble beyond description. We gave him a charge 
of our largest shot, but he seemed not to notice it. Before we 
could fire again he slowly gathered himself up and flew majes- 
tically off. This bird is called the Gavion Real, or Royal Eagle, 
and is not uncommon throughout the interior. Its favourite 
food is said to be sloths and other large-sized animals. 

After breakfast we sailed by a broad marsh, upon which hun- 
dreds of herons were stalking through the tall grass. Upon logs 
and stumps projecting from the water sat great flocks of terns, 
ducks, and cormorants, which, at our approach, left their resting- 
places, some circling about us with loud cries, others diving 
beneath the water, or flying hurriedly to some safer spot. 



CHAP, xi.] INDIAN COOKING FOREST-TREES. 95 

We proceeded very slowly. The current had a rapidity of 
about three miles an hour, and it was only by keeping close in- 
shore that we could make headway. The water of the Amazon 
is yellowish, and deposits a slight sediment. It is extremely 
pleasant to the taste, and causes none of that sickness upon first 
acquaintance that river-waters often do. For bathing, it is luxu- 
rious. 

Upon the morning of the 8th a range of hills, or mountains, 
as they may properly enough be called, was visible upon the 
northern shore ; and after passing such an extent of low country 
the sight was refreshing. They had none of the ruggedness of 
mountains elsewhere, but rose gently above the surrounding level, 
like some first attempt of nature at mountain-making. 

We saw a number of darters upon the branches over the 
water, but were unable to shoot them. A pair of red macaws 
fared differently, and we laid them by for breakfast. During the 
morning we passed about a dozen sloths. They were favourite 
food of the Indians, and their eyes were always quick to discover 
them among the branches, upon the lower side of which they 
usually hung, looking like so many wasps' nests. We observed 
a large lily of deep crimson colour, and numerous richly 
flowered creepers, but without being able to obtain them. It was 
impossible to effect a landing, and we moored again by the side 
of a cedar-log, eight feet in diameter. Upon this was growing a 
cactus, which we preserved. Our macaws, fricasseed with rice, 
made a very respectable meal ; somewhat tough ; but what then? 
many a more reputable fowl has that disadvantage. The Indians 
shot a small monkey, and before life was out of him threw him 
upon the fire. Scarcely warmed through, he was torn in pieces, 
and devoured with a sort of cannibal greediness that made one 
shudder. 

Palm-trees had entirely disappeared, but cotton-trees, of pro- 
digious height and spreading tops, were seen everywhere. So 
also were mangabeira-trees, conspicuous from their leafless limbs, 
and the large red seed-pods which ornamented them. There 
was another tree, more beautiful than either, called, from its 
yellowish-brown bark, the mulatto-tree. It was tall and slim, 
its leaves of a dark green, and its elegantly spreading top was 
covered with clusters of small white flowers. The yellow limbs, 



96 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. n. 



as they threaded among the leaves and flowers, produced a doubly 
pleasing effect. This tree is common upon the river, but its wood 
is esteemed of no vulue. 

We made little advance, the wind not favouring, and the cur- 
rent being strong. Late in the evening we threw a rope over a 
stump at some distance from the shore, beyond reach of cara- 
panas, and spread ourselves upon the cabin-top, in the clear moon- 
light, hoping for a quiet sleep. But the breeze freshened, and off 
we started again, to our great misfortune ; for, the wind soon 
dying away, we got entangled in the cross currents, and were 
hurled with violence among bushes and trees. And now a 
pelting storm came up, and the gaping seams of the cabin-top ad- 
mitted floods of water. To crown the whole, we were at last 
obliged to stop in-shore, and sunrise found us half devoured. 

We were always out as early as possible in the morning, for, 
besides that it was far the pleasantest part of the day, there were 
always birds enough by the water-side to attract one fond of a 
gun. The morning of the 9th was ushered in by a brace of dis- 
charges at a flock of parrots, and immediately after down dropped 
a darter. We had seen several of these within a few days, and 
they were always conspicuous from their long, snake-like necks 
and outspread tails. They were very tame, and easily shot ; but, 
if not instantly killed, would dive below the surface of the water, 
with nothing but the tip of their bill protruding. In this manner 
they would swim under the grass, and were beyond detection. 
The Indians called them cararas. This family is remarkable for 
the absence of any tongue, save the slightest rudiment, and for 
having no external nostril. This specimen was a young male of 
the Plotus anhinga. 

The land was still swampy, but we contrived to find a stopping- 
place, where we were terribly persecuted by carapanas. The 
hills on our right were increasing in number and size. Several 
canoes passed on their way down, but, as these always keep in 
the current, one may sail the whole length of the Amazon with- 
out hailing a fellow-voyager. We were here annoyed by a large 
black fly, called mutuca, which seemed determined to suck from 
us what little blood the carapanas had left. 

The men rowed with a slight increase of unction, attributable 
to our being out of fish, which they had wasted in the most rock- 



CHAP, xi.] GRASS FIELDS PASSION-FLOWERS. 97 

less manner. It was impossible to serve them with daily rations ; 
no independent Indian would submit to that. No matter how 
large the piece they cut off, if it was more than enough for their 
present want, over it went into the stream. Of farinha, too, 
they were most enormous gluttons, ready to eat at any time a 
quart, which, swelling in water, becomes of three times that bulk. 
And they not only ate it, but drank it, mixing it with water, and 
constantly stirring it as they swallowed. This drink they called 
shibe. 

The morning of the 10th discovered the northern hills much 
broken into peaks, resembling a bed of craters. Many of the 
hills, however, were extremely regular, often shaped like the 
frustrum of a cone, and apparently crowned with table-land. 

We coasted for some hours along a shoal bank covered with 
willows and other shrubs standing in the water. Such banks are 
generally lined with a species of coarse grass, which often extends 
into fields of great size. Large masses of this are constantly 
breaking off by wind and current, and float down with the ap- 
pearance of tiny islets. A nice little cove invited us to break- 
fast, and the open forest allowed a delightful ramble. Soon after 
leaving this place the channel was divided by a large island, and, 
taking the narrower passage, all day we sailed southward, in 
what seemed rather an igaripe than a part of the Amazon. Here 
were thousands of small green, white-breasted swallows ; and 
the bushes were alive with the crotophagas, spoken of before. 
Here also we saw a pair of hyaeinthine macaws, entirely blue, 
the rarest variety upon the river ; and numbers of a new passion- 
flower, of a deep scarlet colour. " In the lanceolate leaves of 
the passion-flower our Catholic ancestors saw the spear that 
pierced our Saviour's side ; in the tendrils, the whip ; the five 
wounds in the five stamens ; and the three nails in the three 
clavate styles. There were but ten divisions of the floral cover- 
ing, and so they limited the number of the apostles ; excluding 
Judas, the betrayer, and Peter, the denier." 

Re-entering the main stream early upon the llth, we passed 
the little town of Pryinha, upon the northern shore. The bank 
was still skirted by willows and grass, and the only landing we 
could discover was in a swamp of tall callas. Upon the stems of 
these plants was a species of shell, the Bulimus picturata (Fer.). 

H 



98 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. XL 

There was here a large tree bearing pink flowers of the size and 
appearance of hollyhocks ; and crimson passion-vines were twined 
about the callas. During the day we passed a number of trees 
formed by clusters of many separate trunks, which all united in 
one just below the branches. 

Upon the 12th we passed Monte Alegre, a little town, like- 
wise upon the northern shore, and noted above other river-towns 
for it* manufacture of cuyas, some of which are of exquisite form 
and colouring. Just below the town a fine peak rises, conspicuous 
for many miles. The shore near us was densely overhung with 
vines of the convolvolus major, or morning-glory, plentifully 
sprinkled with flowers of pink and blue. We passed a brood of 
little ducks, apparently just from the shell. As we came near, 
the old one uttered a note of warning and scuttled away ; and 
the little tails of her brood twinkled under the water. 

About noon, discovering a sitio, we turned in, hoping to obtain 
some fish for our men, who grumbled mightily at their farinha 
diet. There were a couple of girls and some children in the 
house, and they seemed somewhat surprised at our errand, for 
they had not enough to eat for themselves. The poor girls did 
look miserably, but poverty in such a country was absurd. 

Proceeding on, an hour brought us to another sitio, where the 
confused noises of dogs, and pigs, and hens, seemed indicative of 
better quarters. Here were three women onlv, engaged in 
painting cuyas. At first they declined parting with anything 
in the absence of their men ; but a distribution of cashaca and 
cigars effected a wonderful change, and at last they sold us a pig 
for one milree, or fifty cents, and a hen for two patacs, or thirty- 
two cents. Soon after, an old man from a neighbouring sitio 
brought in a musk-duck for one patac. We gave the pig to 
the men, and in a few moments he was over their fire. Mean- 
while, they caught a fish, weighing some dozen pounds, and, with 
customary improvidence, put him also into the kettle. Finally, 
the half-eaten fragments of both were tossed into the river. The 
old man of whom we had bought the duck was verv strenuous 
for cashaca, and brought us a peck of coffee in exchange for a 
pint. Not content with that, he at last pursued us more than 
a mile in a montaria, bringing eight coppers for more, and seemed 
to take it much to heart that we had none to sell. 



CHAP, xi.] THRUSH CAMPO INCIDENT. 99 

Upon the 13th we left the southern shore, in order to avoid a 
deep curve, and crossed to a large island. Coasting along this 
we discovered a number of birds new to us, the most interesting 
of which was a small species of the thrush family, the Dona- 
cobius vociferans (Swain.). This bird we often afterwards saw 
in the grass by the water, and his delightful notes reminded us 
of his cousin the mocking-bird at home. He was incomparably 
the finest singer that we heard upon the river, and there, where 
singing birds are unusual, may be considered as one of the river 
attractions. Upon either side his neck was a yellow wattle, by 
the swelling of which he produced his rich tones. 

There was high land upon the southern shore, but upon our 
island we could find no place to rest. The Amazon, in this part 
of its course, expands to a width of from fifteen to twenty miles. 

Towards night we bought a supply of dried peixe boi at a 
sitio. It was inconceivably worse than the periecu, or common 
fish, in rankness and toughness. 

We passed a campo extending back for several leagues, and 
covered with the coarse grass mentioned before, and mostly over- 
flowed. This was said to be a place of resort for ducks, which 
breed there in the months of August and September in incon- 
ceivable numbers. There were evidently many now feeding 
upon the grass-seed, and occasionally a few would start up at 
the noise of our approach. Our pilot suggested that there were 
plenty of cattle and sheep upon this campo, and that they belonged 
to no one. The Indians were longing for fresh meat, and had 
they been alone would have carried off one of the " cow-cattle," 
as Bradley termed them, without inquiring for ownership. 

During the morning of the 14th we stopped at a cacao sitio, 
where was a fine house and a number of blacks. While here, a 
montaria arrived, containing a sour-looking old fellow, and a 
young girl seated between two slaves. She had eloped from 
some town above with her lover, and her father had overtaken 
her at Monte Alegre, and was now conveying her home. She 
was very beautiful, and her expression was so touchingly dis- 
consolate, that we were half tempted to consider ourselves six 
centuries in the past, toss the old gentleman into the river, and 
cry " St. Denis to the rescue !" Poor girl ! she had reason enough 
for sadness, as she thought of her unpleasant widowhood and of 

H2 



100 A VOYAGE UP TfiE RIVER AMAZON*. [CHAP. xi. 

the merciless cowhide in waiting for her at home. Some one 
asked her if she would like to go with us. Her eyes glistened 
an instant, but the thought of her father so near soon dimmed 
them with tears. 

All day we continued along the islands. Upon the southern 
shore a range of regular highlands extended up and down, and 
along them we could distinguish houses and groves of cacao-trees. 

Towards evening we passed a campo of small extent, having 
a forest background, and lined along the shore with low trees 
and bushes. These were completely embowered in running 
vines, forming columns, arches, and fantastic grottoes. 

The sun of the loth had not risen when an exclamation of 
some one called us all out for the first glimpse of Santarem. 
Surely enough, a white steeple was peeping through the gray 
mist, bidding us good cheer, for here, at last, we should rest 
a while from our labours. The steeple was still some miles ahead, 
but the spontaneous song of the men, and the hearty pulls at the 
paddle, told us that these miles would be very short. 

Crossing to the southern side, we soon entered the current of 
the Tapajos, This river is often called the Preto, or Black, 
from the colour of its waters ; and, for a long distance, its deep 
black runs side by side with the yellow of the Amazon, as though 
this king of rivers disdained the contribution of so insignificant 
and dingy a tributary. And yet the Tapajos is a mighty stream. 
The shore was deeply indented by successive grassy bays, with 
open lagoons in their centres, about the margins of which various 
water-fowl were feeding. Most conspicuous in such places is 
always, the Great White Egret, Ardea alba, who raises his long 
neck above the grass as the suspicious object approaches. "With 
an intuitive perception of the range of a fowling-piece, he either 
quietly resumes his feeding, or deliberately removes to some spot 
near by, where he knows he is beyond harm. The heron is 
sometimes spoken of as a melancholy bird, but whether stalking 
over the meadows, or perched upon the green bush, he sef ms to 
me one of the most beautiful, graceful beings in nature The 
Lady of the Waters, a name elsewhere given to a single species, 
might, without flattery, be bestowed upon the whole. 

The trees beyond these bays were many of them in full bloom, 
some covered with glories of golden yellow ; others, of bright 



CHAP. XL] CAPTAIN HISLOP RIVER TAPA JOS. 101 

blue ; and others still, of pure white. Many had lost their leaves, 
and presented sombre Autumn in the embrace of joyous Spring ; 
thus tempering the sadness which irresistibly steals over one 
when witnessing nature's decay, with the joy that lightens every 
feeling when witnessing her renovation. 

Leaving these pretty spots, low trees covered the shore, and 
in their branches we noticed many new and beautiful birds 
that made us long for a montaria. 

When neaf the town, part of our company left the galliota, 
and walked up along the beach. Our letters were to Captain 
Hislop, an old Scotch settler, and directly on the bank of the 
river, at the nearer end of the town, we found his house. The 
old gentleman received us as was usual, placing his house at 
once " a suas ordens," and making us feel entirely at home. We 
walked out, before dinner, to show our passports to the proper 
officers, although we undertood this to be rather matter 01 com- 
pliment than of necessity, as formerly. Not finding the officers, 
we made several other calls, the most agreeable of which was to 
Senhor Louis, a French baker, and a genuine Frenchman. He 
was passionately fond of sporting, and, although he had been for 
several days unable to attend his business from illness, he at once 
offered to disclose to us the hiding-places of the birds, and to be 
at our disposal, from sunrise to sunset, as long as we should stay. 

After our galliota habits, it seemed odd enough to sit once more 
at a civilized table ; but that feeling was soon absorbed in astonish- 
ment at Santarem beef, so tender, so fat, so eatable. How could 
we ever return to the starved subjects of Para market ? 

The captain had been a navigator upon all these rivers, and 
particularly the Tapajos, having ascended to Cuyaba, far amongst 
its head-waters. At Santarem the Tapajos is about one mile and 
a half wide at high water. Above, it greatly widens, and, for 
several days' journey, is bordered by plantations of cacao. At 
about twelve days' journey, or not far from two hundred and fifty 
miles, the mountains appear, and the banks are uneven, and of 
great beauty. The region thence above is a rich mineral region, 
and rare birds, animals, and flowers are calling loudly for some 
adventurous naturalist who shall give them immortality. Here 
are found the hyacinthine macaws, M. hyacinthinus, and the 
trumpeters, Psophia crepitans. Af certain points the naviga- 



102 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xi. 

tion is obstructed by rapids, and, to pass these, the canoes are 
unloaded and dragged over the land. The journey from Para to 
Cuyaba requires about five months, owing to the absence of re- 
gular winds and the swiftness of the current. Canoes occasionally 
come down, bringing little except gold, and in returning they 
carry principally salt and guarana, a substance from which a 
drink is prepared. At a distance of several hundred miles above 
Santarem is a large settlement of Indians, and from them come 
the feather dresses seen sometimes in Para. These are worn by 
the tau9has. A cap, tightly fitting the head, is woven of wild 
cotton, and this is covered with the smaller feathers of macaws. 
To this is attached a gaudy cape reaching far down the back, and 
formed by the long tail-feathers of the same birds, of which they 
also make sceptres that are borne in the hand. Besides these 
are pieces for the shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, neck, and 
knees ; and often a richly worked sash is thrown round the body. 
These dresses are the result of prodigious labour, and far surpass, 
in richness and effect, those sometimes brought from the South 
Sea Islands. 

From the Tapajos Indians come also the embalmed heads 
frequently seen at Pard. These are the heads of enemies killed 
in war, and retain wonderfully their natural appearance. The 
hair is well preserved, and the eye-sockets are filled with clay 
and painted. The Indians are said to guard these heads with 
great care, being obliged, by some superstition, to carry them 
upon any important expedition, and even when clearing ground 
for a new sitio. In this case, the head, stuck upon a pole in one 
corner of the field, watches benignly the proceedings, and may 
be supposed to distil over the whole a shower of blessings. 

The river, below the falls, is not subject to fever and ague ; 
and above, only at some seasons. 

Santarem is the second town to Para, in size, upon the Amazon, 
and has every facility, from its situation, for an extensive trade 
with the interior. It is in the centre of the cacao region, and 
retains almost entire control of that article. Vast quantities of 
castanha-nuts also arrive at its wharves from the interior. The 
campos in the vicinity support large herds of fat cattle, in every 
way superior to those of Marajo ; and were steam-boats plying 
upon the river, Santarem beef would be in great demand at Para. 



CHAP, xi.] SANTAREM DEPARTURE-A DIFFICULTY 103 

Its population is about four thousand. It stands upon ground in- 
clining back from the river. Its streets are regular, and the houses 
pleasant looking, usually but of one story, and built as in Para. 
It contains a very pretty church, above which tower two steeples. 
The fort is very conspicuous, standing upon a high point at the 
lower end of the town, and commanding the river. 

The morning after our arrival we called upon the commandante 
and the chief of police. Both were gentlemanly, educated men ; 
and, very kindly, expressed themselves happy to do us any favour, 
or assist us in any way. At one of these houses was a very 
curious species of monkey ; being long-haired, gray in colour, and 
sporting an enormous pair of white whiskers. 

In the vicinity of Santarem the scarcity of labourers is most 
severely felt, slaves being few, and Indians not only being difficult 
to catch, but slippery when caught. We suspected some persons 
of tampering with our men, and therefore judged it beiter to 
proceed at once, although we had intended to remain several days. 
Our suspicions proved true, for, upon leaving, two of the boys 
were determined to remain behind, and were only prevented from 
so doing by our summoning an officer and the threat of the 
calaboose. A detention in the calaboose would in itself be slight ; 
but when it involves, at least, three hundred lashes from the cat, 
a most detestable animal to the Indian, it becomes something to 
be considered. Desertion is so common, and so annoying, that 
it receives no mercy from the authorities. 

Leaving Santarem, we crossed to an igaripe leading into the 
Amazon. Seen from this distance, the town presents a fine ap- 
pearance, to which the irregular hills in the background much 
contribute. The highest of these hills approaches pretty nearly 
our idea of a mountain. It is of pyramidal form, and is known 
by the name of Irira. The igaripe was narrow ; lined, upon one 
side by sitios, upon the other by an open campo. While coasting 
along this, one of the boys who had attempted desertion threw 
himself on the cabin-top, in a fit of sulks, and commenced talking 

impudently with the pilot. A told him to take a paddle, 

which he refused ; and, quicker than thought, he found himself 
overboard, and swimming against the current. He roared lustily 
for help ; and after a few moments we drew up by the grass, and 



104 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON". [CHAP. xn. 

allowed him to climb in, considerably humbled, and ready enough 
to take a paddle. This had a good effect upon all ; and the alac- 
rity with which they afterwards pulled was quite refreshing. 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE river, above the junction of the Tapajos, was sensibly 
narrower. Between Garupa and Santarem its width had averaged 
from eight to twelve, and sometimes fifteen miles. From the 
mouth of the river to Santarem, a distance of six hundred miles, 
twelve hundred islands are sown broadcast over the water; many 
of large size, and but few very small. These have been accurately 
surveyed, and their places laid down upon charts, by the officers 
of a French brig of war, within a few years. Owing to this 
multitude of islands, we rarely had the opportunity of distin- 
guishing the northern shore. 

The waters now were decreasing, having fallen between one 
and two feet. Their annual subsidence at Santarem is twenty- 
five feet ; and they do not reach that point until late in Decem- 
ber. At that time the tides are observable for a distance of 
several hundred miles above the Tapajos. Even at the height 
of water they cause a slight flowing and ebbing at Santarem. 

We had been advised that the carapanas were more blood- 
thirsty above the Tapajos ; and our first night's experience made 
us tremble for the future. 

Early in the morning, June 17th, we drew up by a cacao sitio. 
The only residents here were four women ; two rather passers, 
and the others pretty, as Indian girls almost always are. They 
were seated upon the ground in front of the house, engaged in 
platting palm-leaves ; and to our salutation of " muito bem dias," 
or " very good morning," and " licencia, senhoras," or, " per- 
mission to land, ladies," they answered courteously, and as we 
desired. This was rather more agreeable than an affected shy- 
ness, a scudding into the house, and peeping at us through the 
cracks, as would have been our reception in some other countries 
I wot of. Politeness is one of the cardinal virtues in Brazil ; and 



CHAP, xii.] POLITENESS RUNAWAYS-CACAO. 105 

high or low, whites, blacks, or Indians, are equally under its in- 
fluence. One never passes another without a touch of the hat 
and a salutation, either good morning or afternoon ; or more 
likely still, " viva, senhor," " long life, sir :" and frequently, when 
we have been rambling in the fields, a passing stranger has called 
out to us a greeting from a distance that might readily have ex- 
cused the formality. An affirmative or negative, even between 
two negroes, is " si, senhor," or " nao, senhor." Two acquaint- 
ances, who may meet the next hour, part with " ate logo," or 
" until soon," " ate manhaa," " until to-morrow." When friends 
meet, after an absence, they rush into each other's arms ; and a 
parting is often with tears. " Passa bem, se Deos quiere," " may 
you go happily, God willing," is the last salutation to even a 
transient visitor as he pushes from the shore ; and very often 
one discovers that the unostentatious kindness of his entertainer 
has preceded him even into the boat. 

But to return to our ladies. A distribution of cashaca arid 
cigars quite completed our good understanding ; and, with the 
more particularly interesting ones, the popularity of the universal 
Yankee nation certainly suffered no diminution. They under- 
stood the arts of the cuisine too, and assisted us mightily in the 
preparation of our viands. As a parting gift, they sent on board 
a jar of fresh cacao-wine, the expressed juice of the pulp which 
envelops the seed, a drink delightfully acid and refreshing. 

While here, our two boys embraced the opportunity to run 
away, leaving all their traps behind them. It was embarrassing, 
but there was no remedy, and we consoled ourselves with the sug- 
gestion that, after all, they were lazy fellows not worth having. 

We were now in the great cacao region, which, for an extent 
of several hundred square miles, borders the river. The cacao- 
trees are low, not rising above fifteen or twenty feet, and are 
distinguishable from a distance by the yellowish-green of their 
leaves, so different from aught else around them. They are 
planted at intervals of about twelve feet, and, at first, are pro- 
tected from the sun's fierceness by banana-palms, which, with 
their broad leaves, form a complete shelter. Three years after 
nlanting, the trees yield, and thereafter require little attention, 
or, rather, receive not any. From an idea that the sun is injurious 
to the berry, the tree-tops are suffered to mat together until the 



106 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

whole becomes dense as thatch-work. The sun never penetrates 
this, and the ground below is constantly wet. The trunk of the 
tree grows irregularly, without beauty, although perhaps by 
careful training it might be made as graceful as an apple-tree. 
The leaf is thin, much resembling our beech, excepting that it 
is smooth-edged. The flower is very small, and the berry grows 
directly from the trunk or branches. It is eight inches in length, 
five in diameter, and shaped much like a rounded double cone. 
When ripe, it turns from light green to a deep yellow, and at 
that time ornaments the tree finely. Within the berry is a 
white acid pulp, and embedded in this are from thirty to forty 
seeds, an inch in length, narrow, and flat. These seeds are the 
cacao of commerce. When the berries are ripe, they are col- 
lected into great piles near the house, are cut open with a tresado, 
and the seeds, squeezed carelessly from the pulp, are spread upon 
mats to dry in the sun. Before being half dried they are loaded 
into canoes in bulk, and transmitted to Para. Some of these 
vessels will cany four thousand arrobas of thirty-two pounds 
each, and, as if such a bulk of damp produce would not sufficiently 
spoil itself by its own steaming during a twenty days' voyage, 
the captains are in the habit of throwing upon it great quantities 
of water, to prevent its loss of weight. As might be expected, 
when arrived at Para it is little more than a heap of mould, and 
it is then little wonder that Para cacao is considered the most 
inferior in foreign markets. Cacao is very little drunk through- 
out the province, and in the city we never saw it except at the 
cafes. It is a delicious drink when properly prepared, and one 
soon loses relish for that nasty compound known in the States as 
chocolate, whose main ingredients are damaged rice and soap- 
fat. The cacao-trees yield two crops annually, and, excepting in 
harvest-time, the proprietors have nothing to do but lounge in 
their hammocks. Most of these people are in debt to traders in 
Santarem, who trust them to an unlimited extent, taking a lien 
upon their crops. Sometimes the plantations are of vast extent, 
and one can walk for miles along the river, from one to the 
other, as freely as through an orchard. No doubt, a scientific 
cultivator could make the raising of cacao very profitable, and 
elevate its quality to that of Guyaquil. 

Towards evening a little alligator was seen upon a log near 



CHAP, xii.] HIGH BANK KINGFISHERS. 107 

shore, and we made for him silently, hoping for a novel sport. 
One of the men struck him over the head with a pole, but his 
casque protected him, and, plumping into the water, we saw him 
no more. 

The morning of the 1 8th found us boiling our kettle under a 
high clay bank, which was thoroughly perforated by the holes of 
kingfishers, who, great and small, were flying back and forth, 
uttering their harsh, rapid notes, and excessively alarmed at the 
curiosity with which we inspected their labours. We tried hard 
to discover some eggs, but the holes extended into the bank several 
feet, and we were rather afraid that some ugly snake might 
resent our intrusion. Various sorts of hornets, bees, and ants, 
had also their habitat in the same bank, and so completely had 
they made use of what space the birds had left them, that the 
broken clay resembled the bored wood that we sometimes ob- 
served in the river below. This clay was of sufficient fineness 
to be used as paint, and in colour was yellow and red. When 
fairly exposed to the sun, it seemed rapidly hardening into stone. 

Upon the hill were two houses, one neatly plastered, the other 
of rough mud with a thatched roof. Both were deserted, and 
evidently had been for a long time. Traces of former cultiva- 
tion where everywhere in the vicinity, lime and orange trees 
being in abundance, and the vines of the juramu, a sort of 
squash, running over everything. No one knew to whom this 
had formerly belonged, but probably to some sufferer by the 
revolution. Near by the houses we observed a number of new 
flowers, one of which was a large white convolvolus, that thereafter 
we frequently saw upon the shore. 

During the morning we sailed some miles under a bank of one 
hundred feet in height, usually entirely wooded to the water's 
edge. But wherever the sliding earth had left exposed a cliff, it 
was drilled by the kingfishers to such a degree, that we often 
counted a dozen holes within a square yard. It seemed to be the 
general breeding-place for all the varieties of this family from 
hundreds of miles below. 

We saw many fine-looking houses and large plantations upon 
the hill, and the table-land seemed to run back a long distance. 
Here the fortunate proprietors lived beyond reach of carapanas, 
a most enviable superiority. 



103 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

The river took a long sweep to the north, describing nearly 
two-thirds of a circle, and indented by small bays. In these the 
water was almost always still, and often flowed back. These 
latter aids to poor travellers are called romancas, and the pros- 
pect of one ahead was exceedingly comfortable. Great quantities 
of grass are caught in these romancas, and spend a great part of 
their natural lives in moving, with a discouraging motion, now 
up, now down, as wind or current proves stronger. 

About noon we passed the outlet of a large lake, or rather of 
what seemed to be a wide expansion of the waters of the river, 
between a long island and the southern shore. Here were nu- 
merous fishing-canoes, and hundreds of terns were flying about, as 
though they too considered this good fishing ground. There 
were also many of the small duck called the Maraca. Both 
these varieties of birds were seen in large flocks, wherever logs, 
projecting from the water, allowed their gathering, and often 
hundreds were floating down upon some vagrant cedar. The 
fields of grass were now a constant feature, and often lined the 
shore to such an extent as rendered landing impracticable. 

Our route upon the 19th was extremely uninteresting, pass- 
ing nothing but cacao-trees, whose monotonous sameness was 
terribly tiresome. By three o'clock we had arrived at Obidos. 
Two high hills had, for some hours, indicated the position of the 
town, but so concealed it, that we were unable to distinguish 
more than two or three houses until we were close upon it. In 
crossing the current for Obidos is upon the northern side our 
galliota was furiously tossed about and carried some miles below. 
The main channel of the Amazon is here contracted into a space 
of not more than a mile and a half, and, dashing through this 
narrow passage, the waters boil and foam like some great whirl- 
pool. The depth of the channel had never been ascertained 
until the French survey, when it was measured as one hundred 
fathoms, or six hundred feet. The position of Obidos is very 
fine, thus commanding the river, and being also at the mouth of 
a large tributary, the Rio de Trombetas. It was upon this river 
that Orellana placed his nation of Amazons. The friar who 
accompanied him affirmed that they had fought their way through 
a tribe of Indians who were commanded by a deputation of these 
warlike ladies in person, and described them as tall and of a 



CHAP, xii.] OBIDOS RIO DES TEOMBETAS. 109 

white complexion, wearing their luxuriant hair in plaits about 
the head. Their only dress was a cincture, and they were armed 
with bows and arrows. Expeditions have, at different times, 
been sent to explore the Trombetas, but, from one cause or 
another, have failed ; and numerous accounts are credited of 
single adventurers who have lost their lives by the cannibals 
upon its banks. But, no doubt, the country through which the 
river passes is well worthy exploration, rich in soil and produc- 
tions, if not in minerals.. 

Obidos contains, perhaps, one thousand people, and is built in 
the customary orthodox manner of the country. It has consider- 
able trade, if we might judge by the number of its stores and 
the good assortments therein contained. 

We walked about, visiting one and another, until evening, the 
observed of all observers. It was not often that so many foreigners 
perambulated one of these towns together, and every one seemed 
disposed to gaze, as though the opportunity occurred but once in 
a lifetime. 

It was delightful to see a horse once more, for we had not 
enjoyed that privilege since leaving Para. Here also was an 
Indian hog, or peccary, running about the streets, and appearing 
in his motions and habits as any other hog. 

We were under some apprehension of losing more of our crew, 
and made preparations for leaving immediately. But considering 
that our circumstances afforded as fair an excuse as those of our 
neighbours, we offered the pilot a patac for every " good and 
able-bodied seaman " that he would enlist. This put him upon 
his mettle, and, as soon as dark set in, he was up and down the 
beach, surrounded by several acquaintances whom he had picked 
up, and eloquently depicting the advantages of regular wages 
and rations of coffee and cashaca. 

Eloquence is "the art of persuasion," and our pilot was a 
gifted man ; for in a short time he had engaged five men, and 
more were waiting his approaches. But we had now our com- 
plement, and by midnight were under way, the whole crew in 
a most glorious state of jollification. The old tauqha, quiet old 
man as he usually was, lay sprawled upon the top, sputtering 
unknown tongues, and singing with vigour enough to arouse the 
garrison. In one of his activities he rolled off, and this seemed 



110 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

to freshen him a little, for, after we had given him a lift out of 
the shallow water into which he had kicked and plunged himself, 
he became comparatively decent. The men, most of them, 
rowed with a fervour quite delightful, and we had crossed the 
river, and were proceeding rapidly, when souse went another, 
dead drunk, from the cabin-top. Strange that cold water should 
have had so instantaneous an effect, but, log-like as he was, he 
revived at once and pulled for the grass, from which we took 
him in. It was scarcely worth while to advance in this manner, 
so, to prevent further mishaps, we ran the bow into the grass, 
and waited a more propitious morning. 

The next morning the men were in more sensible order, and 
a pull of a few hours before breakfast made them once more 
themselves. The tau^ha was as kingly as ever, and placid as a 
summer's morning. It was amusing to hear him joke with the 
pilot about the man who fell overboard, and as often as he 
thought of it his fat sides would shake with inaudible laughter. 
Evidently he had entirely forgotten his own bad plight. 

The wind was fair, and we sped rapidly. We passed a long, 
low flat, covered with grass, interesting to us, as these campos 
always were, from the great variety of birds that congregated 
upon them. Here we first observed a small bird of the Tody 
species, with head and shoulders of white, the body being black. 
It was the T. leucocephalus, and was usually seen in the grass, 
rather than on bushes or trees. Here also were many red- 
throated Tanagers, T. gularis, a very common species, but 
striking, from its contrasted colours of red, white, and black. 
Beyond this campo long lines of willow-trees skirted the shore, 
their leaves mostly fallen ; and the whole tableau looked any 
other than a tropical one. We passed one of the arms of the 
river. Heavy waves dashed over our sides, and we felt what a 
slight protection our overloaded craft would be if overtaken by 
one of the squalls so common at this season, but which we, 
fortunately, had not yet experienced. 

We had now left the cacao-plantations, and again welcomed 
the wild beauty of the forest border, where the birds might sing, 
and the monkeys gambol for our amusement, as merrily as 
though white men had never passed these waters. 

Towards night we saw a large vessel, which was breasting the 



CHAP. xii. J MANNER OF ASCENDING THE RIVER SHELLS. Ill 

current in an altogether novel way to us. A montaria went 
ahead, dragging a long rope, one end of which was fastened to 
the bow. This rope was tied to some convenient object on 
shore, and, hand over hand, those in the vessel pulled her up ; 
when the same process was repeated. In this manner she 
advanced about one mile an hour, and this is the custom with all 
large craft when wind does not favour. 

During the night the breeze died away, and for several days 
thereafter was^ if blowing at all, dead ahead, so that our progress 
was discouragingly slow. Upon the 21st the heat was most 
oppressive, and, to add to our discomfort, the current ran so 
furiously, that the utmost exertions of the men could, at times, 
scarcely propel the boat. About noon we passed a large house 
upon a small bluff, adjoining which was a chapel and a numbei 
of small cottages. Altogether, it was the finest establishment 
that we had seen since entering the Amazon. Not far above, 
we stopped to breathe a while at a sitio, and in wandering about 
the mandioca-plantation we discovered a number of shells, but 
of similar varieties to those found below. Growing upon this 
place, were pepper-plants in abundance, and the Indians had 
soon stripped them of their berries. One could not but wonder 
what the stomachs of these men were lined with, when, with 
every mouthful of farinha, they threw in a fiery red pepper, the 
very sight of which was almost enough to season a dinner. Yet 
the whites also acquire this habit, and eat the article with as 
much relish as the Indians. 

Upon the 22nd the course of the river was very tortuous, so 
that at no time could we discover the channel far in advance. 
High lands towards Villa Nova began to skirt the horizon to the 
westward. We gathered a new variety of cactus, running over 
the tree-tops like a vine ; and a lofty tree which we passed was 
draped with the nests of the large crested troopial, Cassicus 
cristatus, three feet in length. There is another variety, more 
common below, the Cassicus viridis, or jacii, and usually en- 
countered in the deep forest. Both these species are nearly the 
size of crows. We saw, during the morning, an unusual number 
of our favourite thrush, D. vociferans. Wherever a grassy 
spot was seen, his song was sure to come trilling out of it, and 
with very little shyness he would allow us a fair sight of his 
beautyship, as he sat perched upon some tall spear, or chased his 



112 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

mate sportingly through his mimic forest. Just before dark we 
arrived at the house of a Villa Nova padre. He was not at 
home, but a number of Indian women seemed to be the managers, 
and from them we obtained a pair of tambaki, a fish much 
esteemed upon this part of the river, and a turtle. These turtles 
were now ascending the river to their breeding-places upon the 
upper tributaries, and upon several occasions we had observed 
them floating upon the water near our boat. 

Early upon the 23rd we passed a high bluff, which marks the 
Upper from the Lower Amazon. Below, we had been in the 
district of Para ; now we had entered that of the Rio Negro. 

"We saw increasing quantities of a very pretty water-plant, 
whose flowers were blue and white, and about the basis of whose 
leaf-stems were spongy expansions, always filled with air 
natural swimming-corks. 

The sun was just setting as we drew up at the sitio of the 
Capitan des Trabalhadores, to whom we had letters from Dr. 
Costa desiring him to arrange men for our further advance. 
He promised to go to town in the morning, and, filling one of 
our lockers from his orange-trees, we proceeded on. Villa Nova 
is not upon so high land as some of the towns below, and is not 
conspicuous from a distance ; but its situation is marked by an 
opposite island, the upper point of which extends two or three 
miles beyond the town. This was watched by many eager eyes, 
for it was the eve of the Festa of St. Juan, one of their most 
popular of saints ; and our men, if possible, were more anxious 
than we, and strained every nerve to arrive in time for the 
evening's festivities. With such a will it was not long before 
the roaring of the muskets, deputized as cannon, and the bright 
light of bonfires, burst upon us. Suddenly the whole illuminated 
town was before us, bonfires glaring before every door, and an 
especially large one at the upper end, where the Delegarde resided. 

We came in among a crowd of montarias and large canoes, 
mostly filled with women, whom their husbands and fathers had 
deserted for the more attractive cashaca-shops, and who were 
patiently awaiting the hour of the dan^a. Upon the bank a 
procession was passing, the front rank noisy in the plenitude of 
drums and fifes. Succeeding them were ingeniously preposterous 
angels ; some, overtopped by plumes several feet in length ; 



CHAP. xn.J A VILLA NOVA HOUSE. 113 

others, winged with a pair of huge appendages, looking like 
brown-paper kites ; and others still, in particoloured gauds, 
suggestive of scape-angels from Pandemonium. Behind these 
loitered the tag, rag, and bobtail, or the black, red, and yellow, 
in the most orthodox Tammany style. 

Some of our party went on shore to look up old acquaintances. 
I remained on board, preferring to make observations by day- 
light. It was late before the noise in the town subsided, what 
with muskets and rockets, singing and fiddling so late, that I 
must have been dreaming hours before ; but the first thing that 
awoke me in the morning was a splashing, and laughing, and 
screaming all around the galliota, where the sex, par excellence, 
was washing away the fatigues of the dance in a manner to rival 
a school of mermaids. And these Indian girls, with their long 
floating hair and merry laugh, would be no bad representations 
of that species not found in Cuvier darting through the surf 
like born sea-nymphs. 

We were invited to the house of Senhor Bentos, a warm- 
hearted old bachelor, and his little reception-room, of, perhaps, 
twelve feet square, was soon festooned with our hammocks. Here 
we spread ourselves at ease, as if no such vanities as Amazon 
voyages existed, and waited for the turtle that was undergoing a 
process in the iSenhor's kitchen. 

Meanwhile we took the bearings of the Senhor's house, and, as 
it was much like the other buildings of the town, its description 
will answer for all. Its framework was of rough poles from the 
forest, and these, within and without, were plastered with brown 
clay. The floor was of the same material, and the roof was of 
palm-leaves, instead of tiles. From the outer door, a broad hall 
crossed the house, and this, being used as a dining-room, was oc- 
cupied by a long table, upon either side of which was a four-legged 
bench. From the hall, upon each side, opened a small chamber, 
one used as the sleeping apartment of the family, and the other, 
in which we were swinging, the Senhor's especial parlour, or 
bedroom, as the case might be. In this was a large window, 
closed entirely by a shutter. The whole structure, to our ideas, 
was rather comfortless ; but, under the equator, that is of small 
consequence, and sufficient comfort is centred in a hammock to 
atone for its absence in everything else. Back of the house was 

i 



114 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

a covered kitchen, and around this was a yard well stocked with 
poultry, and shaded by orange- trees. 

The dinner came oif in good style, and turtle in every variety 
of preparation, from the soup to the roasted in the shell, tempted 
us. It was the first time we had seen the turtle of the Amazon, 
and in our enthusiasm we pronounced it equal to the very best 
of varieties seen at the North, nor wondered that at civic din- 
ners aldermen must perforce make gluttons of themselves. 

After dinner I strolled into the woods back of the town, and 
soon discovered a delightful path where a coach and four might 
have driven. 

At no great distance was a burying-ground, marked by a lofty 
cross, but as yet, apparently, without a grave. As I loitered along, 
picking here and there a flower, or startling the lizard from his 
afternoon nap, a number of Indians in their gala dresses, the 
women with bright flowers in their hair, passed, all greeting me 
with the musical " viva," or " como esta, Senhor." 

Towards evening, the festivities of the day being over, one after 
another the canoes about the galliota pushed off, leaving the town 
almost deserted. Some of our men endeavoured to take French 
leave of us, for which they enjoyed the night in the calaboose. 

There were some cattle about Villa Nova, and next morning, 
the 25th, was rendered memorable by the acquisition of a goodly 
quantity of milk, the first real cow's milk that we had seen since 
New York milkmen used to disturb our early dreaming. And even 
this good milk tasted all the more natural for a dash of water. 

We were very desirous to see the lake that lies about a mile 
in the rear of the town, but were prevented by the weather. In 
this vicinity a chain of lakes extends along the river, upon both 
shores, and far into the interior. This lake region is generally 
high land, and uninfested by carapanas. Multitudes of Indians 
are scattered over it, obtaining an easy subsistence from the vast 
numbers of peri ecu and other fish which frequent the lakes. 
At this season also turtle resort to the same places, and were 
beginning to be taken in great numbers. 

Since leaving Pard our movements had been pretty much 
restricted to the galliota, for want of a montaria in which we 
might visit the shore at our inclination. At Villa Nova we were 
fortunate enough to purchase one convenient for our purposes, 



CHAP, xii.] TROPICAL ATMOSPHERE-CONSTELLATIONS. 115 

and now anticipated a great increase to our means of amusement. 
And yet our time heretofore had passed most pleasantly. The 
skies had favoured, and those of us who were inclined spent our 
days upon the cabin-top, shielded from the boards by a comfort- 
able rug, and shaded from the sun, if need were, by umbrellas. 
But the sun's heat was rarely inconvenient, and tempered by fresh 
breezes. Coasting close in -shore, there was always matter for 
amusement ; in the morning and evening, multitudes of birds, and, 
at all hours, enchanting forests or beautiful flowers. At night, 
we preferred the open air to the confinement of the cabin, and 
never wearied in admiring the magnificence of the skies, or in 
tracing the fantastic shapes that were mapped out upon them in a 
profusion inconceivable to those who are only acquainted with 
the skies of the northern hemisphere. I have alluded to this be- 
fore ; but so interesting a phenomenon deserves further notice. 
This increased brilliance of the tropical skies is owing to the 
purity of the atmosphere, which is absolutely free from those 
obscuring, murky vapours that deaden light in other latitudes. 
The sky itself is of the intensest blue, and the moon seems of in- 
creased size and kindlier effulgence. For one star at the North, 
myriads look down with a calm, clear light, and great part of the 
vault is as inexplicable as the Milky-way. Most beautiful in ap- 
pearance, and interesting from association, is the Southern Cross, 
corresponding with the Great Bear of the North. This constel- 
lation is of four stars, of superior brilliance, arranged in the form 
of an oblique-angled cross. Just above these, and seeming to 
form part of the same constellation, is the Centaur. Orion is in 
all his glory, and the Scorpion trails his length, most easily 
recognised of all. All the other zodiacal clusters are conspicuous, 
and a kindred host we do not care to name. 

As the sun always set about six o'clock, we had long evenings, 
and it was our custom to gather upon the cabin, and while away 
the hours in singing all the psalms, and hymns, and social songs 
that memory could suggest. Old Amazon was never so startled 
before ; and along his banks the echoes of Old Hundred and 
Lucy Long may be travelling still. 

The carapanas had not been so troublesome as we had feared, 
and we had often avoided all their intimacies by tying to some 
tree removed from shore, or by favour of the fresh breezes. 

i 2 



116 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xm. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE sun of the 26th of June was just re-lighting the water as we 
left Villa Nova. Continuing on a few miles, we stopped in the 
woods to breakfast. Our friends had loaded us with provisions 
of fish, fowl, and turtle, and this morning's pic-nic was pecu- 
liarly delightful after the Spartan fare of the last fortnight. And 
here, perhaps, a description of our doings at these breakfast 
hours may not be without interest to those who care to know the 
romance of a voyager's life. Landing at a convenient spot, the 
first point was to clear a space sufficient for operations, and this 
was speedily effected by some of the Indians with their tresados, 
Others wandered about collecting materials wherewith to make 
a blaze, and there was rarely difficulty in finding an abundance 
of such. The flint and steel were put in requisition, and soon 
all was ready. Some of the party cut off strips of fish, washing 
it to extract the saltness ; others cut sticks of proper length, into 
the cleft end of which they fastened the fish. These were then 
stuck in the ground, inclining over the fire, and one of the men 
was always stationed near to give it the requisite turning. One 
of the Indians was the particular attendant upon the cabin, re- 
ceiving sundry perquisites for his services ; and upon him de- 
volved the care of our tea-kettle. Above the fire, a cross-bar 
was supported by a forked stick at either end, and on this the 
boiling was accomplished in the most civilized style. The coffee- 
bag was all in waiting, a flannel affair, which whilom had done 
duty as a shirt-sleeve ; and into this was put about two teacups 
of coffee. The boiling water was poured in, and our wash-bowl, 
washed, received the beverage, fragrant and strong. A quart 
was the allowance for each, and this, properly attempered by 
sugar, and unspoiled by milk, was our greatest luxury. As to 
the more substantial moiety of breakfast, the fish, rank and 
tough, we stood not upon ceremony, but, pulling it in pieces with 
our fingers, and slightly dipping it in a nicely prepared mixture 
of oil and vinegar, we thereafter received it as became hungry 
men. 

At times our fare was varied by the articles obtained at some 



CHAP, xiii.] JACAMARS PAROQUETS MONKEYS. 117 

sitio, but this was the general rule. Two of us had left the 
North dyspeptics. Sufficient was cooked in the morning to 
serve us through the day, and therefore we usually made but one 
stoppage. 

About the roots of the trees at this place we found a beautiful 
variety of shell, the Bulimus papyracea, in considerable numbers, 
and here also we obtained a richly plumaged jacarnar, the 
Galbula viridis. This species we afterwards frequently encoun- 
tered, both hi the forest and about plantations. There was one 
other species common at Para, but less beautiful, the G. para- 
disea. These birds resembled the humming-birds so much in 
shape, that the people of the country universally call them 
" beijar flor grande," or the great kiss-flower. Their lustrous 
plumage assists the deception. They live upon insects, which 
they are very expert at catching with their long, slender bills. 

During the morning we tested the capabilities of our new 
montaria, and, starting in advance of the galliota, found fine 
sporting, principally among the paroquets and herons. The 
former family of birds had not been very plentiful since leaving 
Gurupa, near which place they had collected in vast flocks, from 
a large extent of country, for the breeding season. But now 
again we were in the vicinity of some other haunt, and they were 
scarcely ever out of sight or hearing. Their notes were not 
extremely agreeable, being little more than a shrill chatter, but 
for beauty of appearance and motion, when clustered around 
some tree-top, busily engaged in stripping off the berries, they 
were great favourites with us. There is no enumerating the 
different varieties we observed, some little larger than canaries, 
others approximating in size to their cousins the parrots. In 
general their plumage was green, but they differed in their 
markings, the green being beautified by various shades of yellow, 
of blue, and of pink, or roseate. 

Our advance was not very great, for the wind did not favour us, 
and all day we were coasting about the greater part of a circle, 
with the situation of Villa Nova scarcely ever out of sight. We 
observed very few houses ; the land was low, and palms again 
were numerous. Frequently, turning some point, we came upon 
little squads of monkeys, who scampered in terrible alarm at the 
first glimpse of us. Excepting on these sudden surprisals, it 



118 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xm. 

always was exceedingly difficult to catch a sight of these animals. 
Even when one is positive that some of them are in his imme- 
diate vicinity, none but the keen and practised eyes of an Indian 
can discover their retreat. For any other than an Indian, there- 
fore, to venture upon a monkey-hunt is almost useless, and they 
only succeed by stripping off their clothes, and creeping cat-like 
among the bushes, or patiently waiting their opportunity in some 
concealment. 

From a passing montaria we purchased a fish weighing about 
fifteen pounds for four vintens, or four cents. We had noticed 
that most of the fish that we had seen had broad, flat heads, and 
corresponding mouths ; and this specimen showed us the utility 
of such a shovel-like apparatus ; for in his stomach were at 
least a quart of crabs, as good as new, which he had gathered 
from the bottom of the river. When the refuse parts of this fish 
were thrown into the water near shore, they attracted great 
numbers of a small white fish, which strongly resembled eels in 
their habits, burying themselves in the mud at any attempt made 
to catch them. We succeeded in obtaining as many as we wanted 
of these at another time, by letting down a basket in which was 
a bait of meat. Upon pulling this out, half-a-dozen of these 
fish were always inside. The Indians would not eat them, but 
pronounced them " devils " of fishes. 

While clearing out one of the lockers this afternoon we started 
a brood of scorpions, a kind of reptile more formidable ia ancient 
story than in modern reality. Still, I should prefer not to be 
stung by one of them. We saw them frequently in different 
parts of the country, and occasionally several inches in length. 
They abound in all canoes and vessels, and once, as I opened a 
letter, brought from Para in one of these craft, a nice little 
specimen dropped from the folds. 

Soon after dark a tremendous storm of wind and rain set in, 
which twice broke us from our moorings and deluged the cabin. 
Rain had no sooner ceased than swarms of carapanas hurried to 
our attack, and for the remainder of the night sleep was out of 
the question. 

The river, upon the morning of the 27th, made a wide bend 
to the northward, around an immense island ; and to shorten the 
distance we took the smaller channel, which, in narrowness, re 



CHAP, xiii.] WILD DUCKS TAN AGEES TOBACCO. 119 

sembled an igaripe. Here we again heard the guaribas, which 
almost deafened us by their howling. 

Towards nig-ht we stopped a few moments at a deserted plant- 
ation. The house was in ruins, but the fruit-trees and the 
garden were still productive. In a trice the whole were stripped, 
as though a party of licensed foragers had chanced that way ; and 
plantains, squashes, sugar-cane, and peppers were handed into 
our boat. 

Proceeding, we passed a clump of grass where a duck was 
setting upon her nest. Starting off, she fluttered along the water 
as if badly wounded, and some one sprang to follow her in the 
montaria ; but, before that could be got ready, she had flut- 
tered beyond harm's reach, and then had vigorously flown out of 
sight. 

During the day we had seen a number of birds new to us, 
but most attractive of all was a scarlet tanager, the Rhamphopis 
nigri gularis (Swain.), or black-masked, whose brilliant metallic 
scarlet and black livery was like a jewel in the sunlight. We 
had seen nothing comparable to it upon the river. These birds 
were always seen about low bushes by the water-side, catching 
their favourite insects, and uttering a slight note or whistle, but 
no song. 

The morning of the 28th found us still in the igaripe, which 
had become extremely narrow. The shore, upon one side, was two 
feet above the water ; upon the other it was overflowed. This 
contrast is observable upon the main stream, and between almost 
all the islands; high banks being generally opposed by low swamps. 

By ten o'clock we had re-entered the river, and stopped at a 
sitio directly upon the point of the island to prepare our break- 
fast. This plantation evidently belonged to a more industrious 
planter than was usual. There was a fine orchard of young ca- 
cao-trees, and a large field of tobacco, nicely cleared of weeds. 

The tobacco grown in this district is of superior quality, and 
vastly preferred to any American tobacco imported. When put 
up for use, it is in long, slender rolls, wound about with rattan, 
and is cut off by the foot. Sometimes these rolls are ornamented 
by the Indians with feathers. All persons, men and women, use 
tobacco in smoking ; and for this purpose have pipes of clay, the 
stems of which are ornamented reeds, three or four feet in length. 



120 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xm. 

In the towns very good cigars are made. TTe never observed 
the practice of chewing the weed among our Indians ; but they 
were always furnished by us with as regular rations of tobacco as 
of cashaca. When pipes were wanting, they made cigarillos of 
the fine tobacco, wrapped in a paper-like bark called toware ; and 
one of these was passed around the deck, each person, even to the 
little boys, taking two or three puffs in his turn, with which he 
was content for an hour or two, when the process was repeated. 

Wandering about this plantation, we discovered a number of 
shells of three species, two of which were Helices, and hitherto 
undescribed ; the third was the Achatina octona (Des.), and 
observed at Pard. 

The Senhor had a large quantity of fish to sell, and we bar- 
tered cloth for enough to last us the remainder of our journey. 
To show the obstructions to profitable labour, the prices received 
by this man is a good illustration. Fish at Villa Nova was 
worth two milrees and a half an arroba; and tobacco, being just 
then scarce, much more. But, although he might have reached 
Villa Nova in a few hours, yet the return passage was so difficult, 
that he preferred to receive one milree an arroba for each, and 
that in barter. In the same way we bought of him, for about 
forty cents, a turtle, weighing at least one hundred and twenty- 
five pounds, which he had lanced the day before. There was a 
red and yellow macaw, Macrocercus aracanga, in singularly fine 
plumage, climbing about the trees by the house ; and we longed 
to possess him, but our boat was too crowded. 

Leaving this place we coasted along the northern bank, and 
for a long time were passing high cliffs of red clay ; sometimes 
perpendicular and overhanging the water, at others running far 
back among the trees, and presenting a beautiful contrast 01 
colours. These banks might well be mistaken for stone, were it 
not for the tell-tale kingfishers. 

Suddenly we came upon a colony of large bushy-tailed mon- 
u ho, to the number of perhaps a hundred, were gambolling 
about the tops of a few tall trees. The first glimpse of us put an 
end to their sport, and away they scampered, helter-skelter, old 
ones snatching up young ones, and young and old possessed with 
but one idea. Those who could, made prodigious leaps into the 
trees below, catching the branches with their long tails, and, 



CHAP, xin.] A TURTLE'S REVENGE IMMENSE TREES. 121 

swinging out, plunged yet again, and were lost to view. Others 
scrambled down the trunks, or concealed themselves in forks and 
crevices ; and in far less time than I have taken to describe the 
scene, not a monkey was visible. We passed on : some bold 
veteran ventured a whistle, another and another returned it ; and 
shortly we could see the tree-tops bending, and hear the rustling 
of the leaves, as the whole troop hastened back to their unfinished 
games. 

Towards evening, the wind freshening, we crossed the channel, 
and now understood ourselves to be upon the shore of the great 
island of Tupirambira, the Tupinamba of early voyagers, which, 
formed by the outlets of the river Madeira, stretches along many 
leagues. 

During the night we were awakened by a groaning among the 
men. One of them had gone down to bale out the hold, and, 
having to do so by the side of the turtle, had thought it would be 
as well to ascertain upon which end was the animal's head. The 
first feel was both satisfactory and unfortunate ; for turtle, not 
comprehending the intentions of these inquisitive fingers, seized a 
thumb in his mouth, and squeezed it, rather gently for a turtle, 
but still forcibly enough to hint his displeasure. Had he been one 
of the denizens of our Yankee ponds, the victimized boy would 
have had a serious search for his old member ; as it was, he was 
disabled, and we thereafter promoted him to the helm. 

Not finding a sitio, we stopped upon the 29th in a forest of 
magnificent growth, where the open space allowed a free ramble. 
The bank was three feet above the water, and the fronting trees 
and shrubs were densely overrun by a vine, producing a profusion 
of small white flowers much resembling the clematis. Many of 
the trees here were of enormous size, and, had we measured the 
girt near the ground, would have given us from forty to fifty 
feet. This seems wonderful, but the explanation is simple. Ten 
or fifteen feet above the ground these trunks are round, and not 
often more than four or five feet in diameter ; but, at about that 
elevation, set out thin supports diverging in every direction, 
presenting the appearance of a column supported by a circle of 
triangles around its base. Of all these trees, the most conspi- 
cuous for beauty was the mulatto- tree mentioned before, and which 
grew here in abundance. 



1-22 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xni. 

To-day we obtained a specimen of the least bittern, Ardea ex- 
ilis. and saw a number of crested curassows. or mutuns. as they are 
called, but were unable to shoot them. "We saw also many igua- 
nas, which at our approach would drop into the water from the 
branches upon which they were feeding. But a greater oddity 
was a small monkey, white as snow, and undoubtedly an albino. 
We drew up to the shore and endeavoured to find his hiding- 
place, but unsuccessfully. 

Upon the flowers this day we observed great swarms of butter- 
flies of every size and colour. A large one of a rich green was 
new to us and most curious, but the brilliant blue ones, seen so 
often near Para, still bore the palm for splendour. 

Towards evening a piece of floating grass passed by us, upon 
which lay the remains of a fish about five feet in length. He had 
thrown himself from the water and there had died. A great 
variety of the river fish have this habit of leaping above the sur- 
face, and not unfrequently fall into a passing montaria. Our 
Indians alleged this as a reason for not sleeping in the montaria, 
which would have accommodated two or three of them with far 
more comfort than the galliota, where part of them slept slung 
across the tolda like so many sacks, and the rest along their nar- 
row seats as they could find room. 

Upon the morning of the 30th we were called out to observe 
a school of porpoises that were blowing and leaping all around 
us. This fish resembles much the sea-porpoise in its motion?, and 
is common from Para up. Its colour is pinkish upon the belly, 
and a number of them gambolling about is an exceedingly beauti- 
ful sight. They are not eaten, and are valuable only for their oil. 

As we drew up by the bank for breakfast, a crested curassow 
or mutun, Crax alector, flew from the top of a low tree near us, 
and one of the Indians darted up for her nest. There were two 
eggs, and, tying them in his handkerchief, he brought them down 
in his teeth. These eggs were much larger than a turkey's egg, 
white and granulated all over. The crested curassow is a bird 
about the size of a small turkey. Its general plumage is black, 
the belly only being white, and upon its head is a crest of curled 
feathers". This species has a yellow bill. It is called the royal 
mutun by the Brazilians, and in the vicinity of the river Negro 
is not uncommon. With several other varieties of its family it is 



CHAP, xiii.] TURTLE-FEAST SQUIRREL WILD INDIANS. 123 

frequently seen domesticated, and is a graceful and singularly 
familiar bird in its habits. According to some authors this bird 
lays numerous eggs, but each of the three nests which we found 
during this day contained but two, and the tau$ha assured us 
that this was the complement. The nest was in every case about 
fifteen feet above the ground, and was composed of good-sized 
sticks lined with leaves and small pieces of bark. 

We determined on the immolation of our monster turtle, and 
all hands, kettles, and pots were in requisition. About a peck 
of eggs were taken from her, and, reserving these, with the hind 
quarters, and the parts attached to the lower half of the shell, 
we turned the remainder over to the Indians, who very soon hav. 
every part, even to the entrails, stewing in their earthen vessels. 
The eggs, mixed with farinha, were very delicious, but, in my 
case at least, they caused an awful reckoning, and for a long 
time I could scarcely think of turtle without a shiver. 

Soon after starting we found two other mutuns' nests, and as 
the boy climbed to the last there was a crash and a fall, and we 
thought his Indian skill had for once deserted him. But the 
commotion was caused by a pair of iguanas, which, from a good 
height, had precipitated themselves into the water. The rascals, 
no doubt, had been calculating on an omelette breakfast. This 
afternoon we shot a gray hawk, and, on picking him up, we 
found a large red squirrel} of a species new to us, by his side, 
upon which he had but just commenced dining. This squirrel 
had legs and tail greatly disproportioned to his body, and we 
concluded, with an acute theorist, that his ancestry had lived so 
long among the monkeys as to have become assimilated. 

Upon the morning of July 1st we stopped at a sitio where 
was an extensive plantation of mandioca and another of cacao ; 
and in the vicinity we shot a number of jacamars and tanagers, 
as well as a squirrel of large size and better proportions than 
our acquisition of the day before. 

Near this place was a sideless shantee, where a party of wild 
Indians had squatted. There were an old crone, two young girls, 
and a boy of sixteen, all looking miserably enough. The only 
articles they seemed to possess were a couple of hammocks, and 
a large fish roasting on some coals told how they subsisted. 
These Indians were of the Muras, the same as our tau^ha, and 



124 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xm. 

he went over to have a talk with them. Gipsy-like, they often 
come out in this way, and remain until some depredation obliges 
them to decamp. This tribe, in particular, are arrant thieves, 
and semi-civilization did not seem to have eradicated much of 
the propensity in those of our party, for several times we had 
missed little articles, as knives, which we had no doubt were 
carefully preserved in some of the trunks in the tolda. 

All day the shore continued low, but just above the present 
height of the river, and a few weeks before, evidently, they had 
been entirely flooded. Of course there were but few sitios. 

Just at night we came upon an immense flock of herons, 

roosting in the trees upon a small island. A went towards 

them with the montaria, and brought down enough of them for 
the morrow's breakfast. The survivors flew round and round in 
puzzled confusion, then wheeled towards another island, where 
darkness prevented his following them. 

Stopped in the woods upon the 2nd, and upon the roots of the 
large trees we collected a number of shells, the Bulimus piperitus 
(Sowerby), entirely new to us. There were also many shells ; 
three varieties common throughout the river region, Ampullaria 
crassa (Swain.), Ampullaria scalaris (D'Orbigny), and Ampullaria 
zonata (Wagner), and usually found just above high-water mark. 
They crawl up there adventurously and are left by the retiring 
flood. Occasionally, in these forest^ we discovered dead shells 
of the Achatina flaminea. Here we saw a pair of the umbrella 
chatterers, Cephalopetrus ornatus, among the rarest and most 
curious of Brazilian birds. They were sitting near together upon 
the lower branches of a large tree, and a shot brought down the 
female. Unfortunately, the gun had been loaded but in one 
barrel, and, before ammunition could be obtained from the boat, 
the male, who lingered about for some moments, had disappeared. 
We afterwards obtained a fine male upon the Rio Negro. These 
birds are of the size of small crows, and the colour of their 
plumage is a glossy blue-black. Upon the head is a tall crest of 
slender feathers, whence it derives its name, and upon the breast 
of both male and female is a pendant of feathers hanging to the 
length of three inches. They are, like all the chatterers, fruit- 
eaters. They are pretty common upon an island a few days' 
sail above the barra of the Rio Xegro, but they are not found 



CHAP, xii i.] PERIECU AND TAMBAKI SEEPA. 125 

anywhere in that region in such flocks as others of the chatterer 
family. The Indian name for these birds is urumuimbu, and 
the tau^ha informed us that they built in trees and laid white eggs. 

During the day we crossed from one island to another, and at 
last were again upon the northern side. 

Early the next morning, the 3rd, we were overtaken by a 
small canoe pulled by eight men, and some of our party were 
delighted to discover in the proprietor an old acquaintance. 
After mutual compliments and inquiries, the canoe shot past and 
we soon lost sight of her. While we were looking out for a 
place whereon to build our customary fire, the smoke of some 
encampment ahead caught our eyes, and, directing our course 
thither, we found our friend of daybreak nicely settled upon a 
little clearing which he had made under the cacao-trees of a 
deserted plantation. He politely made room for us, and sent us 
coffee from his own boat. 

Not long after noon we stopped at a house where a number of 
Indians were collected about a periecu which they had just 
caught. This was the fish whose dried slabs had been our main 
diet for the last few weeks, and we embraced the opportunity to 
take a good look at so useful a species. He was about six feet 
long, with a large head and wide mouth, and his thick scales, 
large as dollars, were beautifully shaded with flesh-colour. 
These fish often attain greater size, and at certain seasons are 
very abundant, especially in the lakes. They are taken with 
lances, cut into slabs of half an inch thickness, and dried in the 
sun after being properly salted. It is as great a blessing to the 
province of Para as cod or herring to other countries, con- 
stituting the main diet of three-fourths of the people. We 
bought for eight cents half this fish, and for six more a tambaki 
weighing about ten pounds. This is considered the finest fish 
in this part of the river, and resembles in shape the black fish 
of the north. 

Not far above this sitio was the village of Serpa, and a turn 
of the river presented it to us in all the glory of half a dozen 
thatched houses. So aristocratic an establishment as our galliota 
was not to come up without causing a proper excitement, and 
one after another the leisurely villagers made their appearance 
upon the hill until a respectable crowd stood waiting to usher us. 



126 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xin. 

Hardly had we touched the shore when a deputation boarded us 
for the news, and we were forced to spend half an hour in 
detailing the city values of cacao, and fish, and tobacco, and the 
hundred other articles of traffic. Indeed, this had been our 
catechism ever since we entered the river, and, as we were pro- 
foundly ignorant of the stale of the Pard market, we had been 
obliged to invent a list of prices for the general circulation. 

The bank upon which the village stands rises abruptly about 
fifty feet above high-water mark, but, fortunately, in one point a 
broad natural gully allows easier ascent, and up this we made 
our way. Our principal business in stopping here was to obtain 
men if possible, part of ours being lazy, and part disabled from 
one cause or another. Moreover, the river current above Serpa 
flows with a vastly accelerated swiftness, rendering more men 
almost indispensable. "We directed our way to the house of 
Senhor Manoel Jochin, the most influential man of the village, 
although not a public officer. Nor had we far to go, for Serpa 
has been shorn of its glory, and dilapidation and decay meet 
one at every turn. The Senhor was sitting at his door in earnest 
conversation with the Colonel and the Juiz de Paz, and received 
us not cavalierly, but as became a cavalier ; for Senhor Manoel 
had been a soldier in his day, and, although on the shady side of 
sixty, still looked a noble representative of those hardy old 
Brazilians who have spent their lives on the frontiers. "We had 
heard of him below as the captor of Edoardo, one of the rebel 
presidents of the revolution, and looked upon him with interest. 
For this exploit he had been offered a high commission in the 
army, but he preferred living in retirement here. 

In the evening we sat down to turtle and tambaki with the 
dignitaries before mentioned, and, as our style of supper varied 
somewhat from our former experience, I trust I shall be excused 
for entering a little more into particulars. By the side of each 
plate was a pile of farinha upon the table, and in the centre stood 
a large bowl of caldo or gravy. Upon sitting down, each one 
in turn took up a handful of his farinha and dropped it into the 
bowl. This, afterwards, was the general store, from which each 
helped himself with his own spoon as he listed. Water was not 
absolutely interdicted, but it was looked upon with scarcely con- 
cealed disapprobation, and its absence was compensated by cas- 



CHAP. xin. J AN INDIAN DANCE. 



There was no limit to hob-nobbing and toasting, and our 
jolly colonel at last concluded with a stentorian song. 

The Senhor had been a frequent voyager upon the Madeira, 
and gave us interesting accounts of his adventures upon that 
river. What was quite as agreeable, however, was a collection 
of shells which he had picked up along its shores, and of which 
he begged our acceptance. One of these was a remarkably 
large one of the Ampullaria canaliculata (Lam.), which was 
used as a family cashaca goblet. The others were Hyria avicu- 
laris and Anadonta esula. The valves of the Anadontas had 
been used as skimmers in the Senhor's kitchen. 

We were told that there was to be a dance, to which our com- 
pany would be acceptable, particularly if we brought along a 
few bottles of cashaca. Now an Indian dance was a novelty, 
and the insinuating invitation worked its effect. Taking each a 
quart bottle under his arm, we strolled to the scene of action, 
and were politely ushered into one of the larger houses, where a 
crowd of men and girls had collected. The room was illuminated 
by burning wicks of cotton, which were twisted about small 
sticks and set into pots of andiroba oil. Around the walls were 
benches, upon which sat a score of Indian girls dressed in white, 
with the ever accompanying flowers and vanilla perfume. The 
men were standing about in groups, awaiting the commencement 
of the exercises, and dressed in shirts and trousers. One, distin- 
guished beyond the rest by a pair of shoes and a coloured hand- 
kerchief over his shoulders, was the major domo, and kindly 
relieved us of our bottles, allowing us to stand ourselves among 
the others as we might. A one-sticked drum soon opened the 
ball, assisted by a wire-stringed guitar, and for a little time they 
divinised on their own account until they were pronounced safe 
for the evening. Two gentlemen then stepped up to their 
selected partners, and gracefully intimated a desire for their 
assistance, which was favourably responded to. The partners 
stood opposite each other and carelessly shuffled their feet, each 
keeping slow time by the snapping of their fingers. The man 
advanced, then retreated, now moved to one side and then to the 
other. Now approaching close to the fair one, he made a low 
bow, looking all sorts of expressions as though he was acting a 
love pantomime ; to which his partner responded by violently 



128 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xiv. 

snapping her fingers, and shuffling away as for dear life. Away 
goes the lover two or three yards to the right, profoundly bow- 
ing; then as far to the left, and another bow. Getting visibly 
excited, up again he advances, going through spasmodic opera- 
tions to get louder snaps from his fingers. The fair inamorata is 
evidently rising. Around she whirls two or three times ; he 
spins in the opposite direction, and, just as he is getting up an 
attitude of advance, out steps another lady, taking his partner's 
place. This is paralyzing, but the lover is too polite not to do 
a little for civility, when some gentleman steps before him, taking 
the burden from his feet and leaving him to follow his partner to 
the well-earned seat, where he solaces his feelings by a long pull 
at the bottle, and then passes it to the lady, who requires sym- 
pathy similar in degree and quantity. The dancing continued, 
with no variation of time or figure, until the cashaca gave out, 
which was the signal for a breaking up, all who could preserve 
their equilibrium escorting their equally fortunate partners, and 
those who could not remaining until a little sleep restored their 
ailing faculties. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Ax unclouded sky was awaiting the sun of the 4th as we strolled 
along the river-bank at Serpa, recalling the clustering associa- 
tions connected with the day, and thinking of the present occu- 
pations of friends at home. It was a magnificent place for fire- 
works and tar-barrels, and that beautiful island opposite was the 
very spot for a pic-nic. We had quite a mind to have a cele- 
bration on our own account, for the purpose of demonstrating to 
the benighted Amazonians how glorious a thing it is to call oneself 
free and independent ; but, alas ! our powder was precious, and 
barrels of tar not to be had for love or money. The sun peeped 
over the tree-tops, flooding in beauty the wild forest, and gilding 
the waters that rushed and foamed like maddened steeds. The 
birds were making the air vocal with a hundred different notes, 
and fishes were constantly bouncing above the water in glee. 
And was it a fancy that one red-coated fellow, as he tossed him- 
self up, greeted us with a " viva " to the independence of 
America ? 



CHAP, xiv.] SERPA LAKE SARACA' PIC-NIC. 129 

Serpa was a pretty place after all, and our impressions of the 
night before had been formed after a long clay and a scorching 
sun. And the people of Serpa were a happy people, and we 
almost wished that our names were in their parish register. The 
river teemed with the best of fish, and half an hour's pleasure 
would supply the wants of a week. Farinha grew almost spon- 
taneously, and fruits quite so. The people bartered with passing- 
boats for whatever else they might require, and lived their lives 
out like a summer's day, knowing nothing of the care and trouble 
so busy in the world around them, and happy as language could 
express. With an income of one hundred dollars, a man would 
be a nabob in Serpa, as rich as with a hundred thousand else- 
where. 

Not far behind the village is a large lake, the Saraca, and at 
one of the outlets of this Mr. M'Culloch had, a few years since, 
made arrangements for a saw -mill ; but after several months' 
labour, when the timbers were ail ready to be put together, he 
was ordered by the authorities at Para to desist, upon some 
frivolous pretext. From here he removed to Barra. 

Senhor Manoel had been on the point of leaving for Barra as 
we arrived, and he concluded to go with us, putting two of his 
men upon the galliota. Besides these, we had been unable to 
find any others. The Colonel and Juiz were also to go in their 
own canoes, keeping us company. These gentlemen were all 
going up to Barra to attend a jury, one of the inflictions of civil- 
ization in Brazil as elsewhere. But, although a week's voyaging 
among the carapanas is no sport, they did not grumble half so 
much at the obligation as many a man at home for the loss of 
his afternoon by similar necessity. 

Leaving Serpa about seven o'clock, we continued on an hour 
until we arrived at a spot whither the Senhors had preceded us, 
and made ready breakfast. We were to have a pic-nic after all. 
Each canoe had brought store of good things, and we circled 
around a little knoll under the trees, to the enjoyment of a greater 
variety than we had seen for the last two months. 

At this place we shot an opossum, of a smaller variety than 
that of the States. It emitted a very disagreeable odour, and 
even our Indians expressed their disgust at the idea of eating it. 
I intended to have preserved it, and laid it in the montaria for 



ISO A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xrv. 

that purpose, but soon after it was missing, some one having 
thrown it into the stream. 

Nearly all day our course was through a passage of not more 
than fifty yards' width between the northern shore and an island. 
At low water this channel was entirely dry. In one part of our 
way a large flock of swallow-tailed hawks, Falro furcatus, a 
variety found also in the Southern States, circled about us in 
graceful motion like so many swallows. "We brought down one, 
a fine specimen, greatly to our delight ; for although we had 
frequently seen them before, we never had been able to reach 
them on account of their lofty flight. 

It was nearly midnight when we reached the sitio of the Dele- 
garde of Serpa, directly opposite the mouth of the river Madeira, 
The Colonel had arrived before us, and we found prepared a 
substantial supper. The Delegarde of Serpa has not a very 
lucrative office, and matters about the house looked rather 
poverty-stricken ; but we cared little for that on our own account, 
and, slinging our hammocks under an open cacao-shed, slept as 
well as the carapanas would allow. 

The river Madeira is the greatest tributary of the Amazon, 
having a length of more than two thousand miles. Rising far 
down among the mountains of southern Bolivia, it drains a vast 
extent of country, receiving constant accessions. Its current is 
not swift and its waters are comparatively clear. When the 
Amazon is lowest, in the month of December, the Madeira is at 
its height ; and at that season very many fallen trees are floated 
down. Much of the country about its mouth is low and unin- 
habitable ; and at certain seasons the whole region below the falls 
is visited by intermittent fevers. This scourge to man is a bless- 
ing to the turtles, which congregate upon the upper islands and 
deposit their eggs without molestation. The first falls are at the 
distance of two months' journey from Serpa ; and, thereafter, a 
succession of similar falls and rapids obstructs the navigation for 
a long distance. Yet canoes of considerable burden ascend the 
river, passing these falls by aid of the Indians, who are settled 
about these places in large numbers. By the upper branches of 
the Madeira, easy communication is had with the head-waters of 
the La Plata ; and in the earlier days of Brazilian settlement 
the enterprising colonists had discovered and taken advantage of 



CHAP, xiv.] RIVER MADEIRA VILLAGE OF OUR TAU9HA. 131 

this connection. To the interior province of Matto Grosso com- 
munication is had by the Tocantins, Tapajos, and Madeira, from 
Para. The last river is preferred, on account of the fewer 
obstructions, although the distance is greatly increased. Not 
unfrequently one of these canoes arrives at the city loaded with 
the products of Matto Grosso, among which gold is one of the 
principal. The Indians accompanying such craft are of a very 
different race from those usually seen, and in strange dresses 
wander about the streets staring at every sight. 

There are but few settlements upon the lower waters of the 
Madeira. The chief of them is Borda, upon the southern bank, 
two days' voyage from Serpa. The country is rich in woods, 
cacao, salsa, and gums. A greater obstruction to its settlement 
than unhealthiness was the obstinate ferocity of the Indian tribes 
upon the river-banks, especially the Muras and Mundruciis. 
But both these have yielded in some degree to the effects of 
civilization, and the latter are now considered one of the most 
friendly races in the province. 

Resuming our journey before daybreak of the 5th, we arrived 
about seven o'clock at the most orderly-looking sitio which we 
had yet seen. There were a number of slaves, and the fields of 
mandioca and tobacco were as neat as gardens. The houses were 
well built and arranged in the form of a quadrangle ; and, being 
upon a lofty bank, commanded a beautiful view of the river and 
the remote shore. A grove of orange-trees hung loaded with 
fruit, and we readily obtained permission to fill our lockers. The 
orange season was just commencing, and thereafter we found 
them everywhere in profusion. 

Here also we obtained a shell new to us, the Achatina regina. 

Three miles above this place was the village of our taucjha ; 
and as himself and his party had been absent several months, 
we observed their demeanour with some curiosity as we drew 
near their home. The old man looked sharply, as though he 
would see if any changes had occurred in his domain ; the boys 
scarcely looked at all, and seemed as apathetic as blocks ; but the 
princess was all smiles, pointing out to her children this and that 
object, or her recognised friends upon the bank. The village 
did not present a very distinguished appearance, although upon a 
singularly fine site, the bank being fifty feet above the water, 

K2 



132 A VOYAGE UP THE EIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. sir. 

and fronted by a small island at the distance of a mile. As we 
touched the shore, a number of women and children were looking 
on from above, as though we were perfect strangers ; only two 
of the little girls coming down to meet their brothers and cousins. 
With the same indifference, the boys, as they met their mothers 
and sisters, scarcely exchanged a salutation. To give them all the 
credit they deserved, however, their first steps were to the rude 
chapel, where before the altar, on bended knees, they thanked 
our Lady for their safe return. There was one poor boy, the 
best of the band, who had been sick with jaundice during the 
whole passage. The others had been perfectly indifferent to him, 
not caring whether he lived or died ; but we had done every- 
thing for his comfort that circumstances would allow, and in 
return, although he could not speak a word of Portuguese, he had 
testified his gratitude in a hundred little instances. He lingered 
about us a long time as if loth to part ; and when at last he 
went upon the hill where the others were collected together de- 
tailing the wonders of their travels, he slunk away unnoticed by 
any, nor did we see the least recognition of him while we remained. 

When Lieutenant Ma we descended this river in 1831, these 
people had just been gathered out of the woods by an old padre, 
who had converted them and taught them something of civiliza- 
tion. Mr. Mawe particularly observes that they would drink no 
cashaca nor exchange fish for that article. 

But the old padre had gone ; the houses, far better framed than 
usual, were almost all in ruins ; and there did not seem to be a dozen 
adults in the place. A large piece of ground had at one time 
been cultivated, but now the grass and bushes had overgrown the 
whole ; and excepting where a few squash vines had found a 
home upon the side-hill, not a trace of agriculture remained. 
With this outward decay the padre's instructions had gone like- 
wise, and these Muras were noted as arrant thieves and lazy vag- 
abonds. The little civilization once acquired had left behind 
just enough of its dregs to make them worse than their brethren 
of the woods. 

We wandered some hours in the vicinity, shell-hunting and 
sporting with very little success ; but the exercise was delightful, 
for long confinement in the galliota had stiffened our joints and 
wellnigh put us upon the sick-list. 



CHAP, xiv.] THE TAU9HA'S KASCALITY THE BELL-BIKD. 133 

Senhor Manoel Jochin waited until afternoon for the return of 
some men who were said to be absent upon a fishing expedition ; 
but at last he left, after making the tai^ha promise to forward us 
with our full complement when the absentees returned. The 
Senhor very kindly left with us his two men whom we had em- 
ployed since leaving Serpa. No sooner was he gone than the 
fishermen appeared from the woods, where they had been skulking ; 
and now, the tau9ha, having received payment, refused to do any- 
thing further. There was no help ; we could only threaten Dr. 
Costa's vengeance, and therefore prepared to depart as speedily 
as possible. 

The price to be paid this party of six had been stipulated by 
Dr. Costa before their descent. Their wages had been given 
them in money at Para, and, for the forty- five days during which 
they had been in our employ, each received three shirts of factory 
cotton, three pairs of pantaloons of blue drilling, and two balls 
of thread. In addition, the taucha was to receive at Barra two 
whole pieces of drilling, but this of course he forfeited by not 
fulfilling his engagement. 

"We had still seven men besides the pilot, although we had left 
eight persons at the village, and were after all not so badly off 
as we might have been. 

Bidding adieu to the Muras with uncourteous blessings, we 
coasted for some hours under the same lofty bank, passing a 
number of fine sitios. The current was often so swift that the 
utmost exertions of the men were unable to propel the boat, and 
they showed great glee at the alacrity with which the Senhors 
sprang to the paddles for their relief. 

During the night we fancied we heard the far-famed bell-bird. 
The note was that of a muffled tea-bell, and several of these 
ringers were performing at the same time some with one gentle 
tinkle, others with a ring of several notes. I asked the pilot 
what was " gritando ; " he replied, " a toad." I had no idea of 
having my musician thus calumniated, and remonstrated ' there- 
upon, but he cut me short with " It must be a toad, everything 
that sings at night is a toad." From accounts of travellers, we 
had been expecting ever since we had entered the Amazon to 
have been nightly lulled to sleep by the song of this mysterious 
bird ; and we used at first to strain our perceptions to the 



*34 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xrr. 

recognition of something that was bell-like, now starting at the 
hooting ding-dong of ~n owl, and now at the slightest twitter of 
a tree-toad. But it was all in vain ; the illusion would not last ; 
and unless, when heart-saddened, his note, which is usually com- 
pared to the" pounding of a hammer upon an anvil," comes within 
the compass of a little bell of silver, we never heard the bell-bird. 

During the whole of the 6th we were passing through a narrow 
passage under a melting sun, and unenlivened by a single bird 
or other enticement. An Amazonian sun can be fierce, and 
upon such days the birds fly panting into the thickets, and trees 
and flowers look sorrowfully after them, as though they would 
gladly follow. The river-bank was often high, and occasionally 
we saw a real rock no clay fiction. 

The carapanas gave us no rest during the night, and early 
upon the 7th we were advancing, hoping to arrive at a sitio by 
breakfast-time. 

Daybreak found us emerging from our narrow passage, and 
we saw but a short distance ahead the embarca^oen in which 
most of Bradley's goods had been shipped, and which had left 
the city a few days before ourselves. The men pulled lustily lo 
overtake her, for we were out of cashaca and now should be able 
to obtain a supply. 

It was ten o'clock before we came in sight of the sitio, situated 
upon a high projecting bluff. The embarcac/>en was anchored 
in a little bay upon the upper side. We drew up in a convenient 
spot below and walked in procession to the bouse. The reception- 
chamber in this case was a raised platform about two feet high, 
covered with slats, upon which mats were spread, and over 
which two hammocks were hanging. We found the Senhor and 
his lady, with the Captain just arrived, engaged with their 
coffee, and the invitation to us was not " entra," but " sobre," 
that is, " mount." This direction we accurately followed, and 
squatted ourselves, Turkish fashion, upon the mats. Coffee was 
presented to us, and, after our now tasteless galliota preparation, 
was a luxury. 

This house was large enough, and, had its proprietor thought 
fit to limit the circulation of air by an outer wall or two, or to 
fetter the grass upon the floor by tiles, would have been one of 
the finest houses upon the river. But such innovations, probably, 



CHAP, xiv.] RECEPTION AT A SITIO INDIAN AIRS. 135 

never ocurred to him. Under the same roof, and within six feet 
from the platform, was a furnace and anvil, at which a black 
Cyclops was officiating with an earnestness that made our ears a 
burden, and that puzzled us to comprehend how the good couple 
could endure their hammocks. 

A number of pretty children were playing about, and one of 

them speedily formed an intimacy with A . She brought 

him a cuya of eggs, and seemed happy as a lark with some trifling 
present which he made her in return. How often had we wished 
for some of those pretty toys or books which children at home 
value so lightly, but which those upon the Amazon would regard 
as priceless treasures ! Upon leaving, the Senhora sent down 
half a dozen fowls and some vegetables for our acceptance. 

The proprietor of this establishment was counted one of the 
wealthiest men upon the river, and we saw numerous slaves and 
large fields of tobacco and mandioca. In front of the house an 
Indian and his boy were weaving a grass hammock, twisting 
the cord from the raw material as they required it, a few yards 
at a time. 

Soon after starting we passed the embarcac.oen, obtaining our 
indispensable. This vessel had large schooner sails, but, as wind 
did not always favour, eight men stood upon her deck with long 
sweeps, made by fastening the blades of paddles upon the ends 
of poles, and pulled her onward. Besides these, two men were 
in the montaria with a rope, tying and pulling as before described. 
In this manner she advanced nearly as rapidly, or rather as 
slowly, as ourselves. 

We had been disappointed in our expectation of obtaining 
some additional men at this sitio. The riddance of the tauqha's 
party was an inconceivable relief; for the men, having no bad 
example constantly before them, required no urging, but pulled 
steadily and contentedly from four in the morning until eight at 
night, frequently cheering their labour by songs. Many of 
their songs are Portuguese, and the airs are very sweet ; but the 
real Indian is usually unburdened with words, and is little more 
than a loud, shrill scream, with something of measure a sort 
of link between the howl of the performer at the Chinese Museum 
and a civilized tone. We never could catch these wild tunes, but 
they were as natural to every Indian as his bow and arrow. 



136 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xrr. 

Late at night we stopped at a cattle sitio. The master was 
absent, but the slave had a number of fine tambaki. and we 
purchased enough already roasted to last us to Barra, Habitual 
travellers upon the Amazon make it a point to stop during the 
night at sitio* whenever possible, thus avoiding the carapanas 
and greatly relieving the tedium of their voyage. 

At seven o'clock upon the 8th we were in the swiftest current 
below the Rio Negro. A rocky shore, dry at low-water at this 
season, formed a rapid, down which the waters rushed with a 
furious velocity. Two of us went ahead in the montaria ; some 
used the pole ; while others with the sail-rope jumped upon shore 
and pulled. By these means, after a hard tug, we passed. 

We breakfasted in a lovely spot, where the open woods and 
the moss-covered rocks, so different from any we had seen before, 
reminded us strongly of well-loved scenes at home. Here we 
gathered several species of ferns, and from a mound of soft red 
clay cut out cakes like soap for some soil-inquisitive friend. 

The remote bank of the Rio Negro now began to rise boldly, 
exhilarating us all. The water of the Amazon gradually lost 
its muddy hue, and the black water of the Negro as gradually 
assumed its proper colour ; until at last, intensely dark, but clear 
and limpid, every ripple sparkling like crystals, it bade us throw 
back a joyful adeos to the majestic old friend we were leaving, 
and hail with loud vivas the beautiful newly found. 

At its junction with the Negro the Amazon bends widely to 
the south, so that from the northern shore the former seems the 
main stream. Directly at the junction lies a large triangular 
island, and Mr. M'Culloch informed us that he himself had found 
soundings here at thirty-two fathoms, or one hundred and ninety- 
two feet. Upon either side the shore rises abruptly and loftily, 
and the river is contracted into much narrower limits than above. 

AVe sailed under noble bluffs, passing many fine-looking 
houses ; and the effect of these, with the dark water, the cloudy 
sky, and the rich green festooning, made that few hours' sail 
intensely interesting. The current moved sluggishly, and the 
only signs of life which we met were in correspondence a 
swarthy white in one end of a montaria, listlessly holding a fish- 
line, while in the other sat, curled up, a little boy in blue shirt 
and red cap, both pictures of luxurious laziness. 



CHAP, xv.] ARRIVAL AT BARRA THE RIVER, 137 

It was eight o'clock in the evening as we moored to the shore 
at Barra. A furious rain was pouring, and thus we ended our 
voyage as we had begun it. We had left Para expecting to see 
but thirty days pass upon the Amazon, but the thirty had flown 
long since, and here we were upon the eve of the fiftieth. 

Yet our time had passed pleasantly in spite of every incon- 
venience ; and now that the memory of the carapanas began to 
fade into indistinctness, and the big flies could no longer trouble 
us, we could have looked forward to another fifty days towards 
the Peruvian frontier without trembling. 

The distance from Para to the Barra of the Rio Negro in a 
straight line is rather more than eight hundred miles, but as we 
had come, following all the windings of the channel, the distance 
was more than a thousand. 

Early in the morning a number of gentlemen visited us at 
the galliota, some to inquire of the market and news below, 
others to make offers of friendly service. Of these latter was 
Senhor Henriquez Antonio, an Italian by birth, and the most 
prominent trader upon these upper rivers. He immediately 
offered us a vacant house next his own, and in a brief time we 
were fairly installed in our new quarters. The building was of 
one story, containing several rooms, most of which were ceiled 
by roof-tiles and floored by sand. Bradley took possession of 
the large parlour for his goods, and he and Mr. Williams were 
domiciled in one of the little twelve-by-twelve sanctums, and 
A and I in the other. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE Rio Negro at Barra is about four miles in width at high- 
water, but much less during the dry season, when the flood has 
fallen thirty feet. The channel deepens at once from the shore, 
forming a safe and convenient anchorage. The shore in some 
parts is bold, rising in almost perpendicular bluffs ; in others, 
gently sloping to the water's edge. Upon land thus irregular 
the town is built, numbering rather more than three thousand 
inhabitants, a large proportion of which are Indians. The 



138 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xv. 

houses are generally of one story, but occasionally of two and 
three, and resemble 'a form and structure those of the better 
towns below. 

There was something very attractive in the appearance of the 
Barra. The broad, lake-like river in front, smooth as a mirror ; 
the little bay, protected by two out-jutting points ; the narrow 
inlet that circled around the upper part of the town, and beyond 
which sloped a lofty hill, green with the freshness of perpetual 
spring ; the finely rolling hind upon which the town itself stood ; 
and back of all, and overtopping all, the flat table, where at one 
glance we could take in a combination of beauties far superior 
to anything we had yet seen upon the Amazon. Here the 
secluded inhabitants live, scarcely knowing of the rest of the 
world, and as oblivious of outward vanities as our Dutch 
ancestors, who, in bygone centuries, vegetated upon the banks 
of the Hudson. Here is no rumbling of carts or trampling of 
horses. Serenity, as of a sabbath-morning, reigns perpetual ; 
broken only by the rub-a-dub of the evening patrol, or by the 
sweet, wild strains from some distant cottage, where the Indian 
girls are dancing to the music of their own voices. 

Directly upon the river-bank, and frowning over the waters, 
once stood a fort known as San Jose. The Portuguese word for 
fort is barra, and this name was applied to the town which sprang 
up in the vicinity ; therefore it is that the town is usually spoken 
of as the Barra de Rio Negro. Whether peace has been unfa- 
vourable, or the fortunes of war adverse, we were not informed ; 
but there stands the ruin, with scarcely wall enough left to call 
it a ruin, white with lichens and protecting nought but an area 
of grass. Upon the top of the ancient flag-staff is perched a 
buzzard, who never seems to move the livelong day but to turn 
his wings to the sunlight, or to nod sympathetically to a party of 
his brethren, who, upon upright poles and crossbeams that indi- 
cate still further ruin, sit drooping in the " luxury of woe." 

Near by, an antique church shoots up to the loftiness of some 
thirty feet, and at its side is a quaint adjunct of a tower, square 
and short and thick, from whose top sounds the church-going 
bell. Beyond this is a square, or largo, facing which are the 
barracks and the room of the Assembly, for Barra is the chief 
town of the district of the Rio Negro. 



CHAP, xv.] SENHOR HENRIQUEZ MANNER OF LIVING. 139 

Upon this largo stood also the house of Senhor Henriquez, in 
which we were half domiciled, for, being all bachelors, and weary 
of bachelor cooking, we accepted with pleasure the invitation of 
Senhor H. to his table. His house was always open to passing 
strangers, and others beside ourselves were constantly there en- 
joying his hospitality. Both the Senhor and his lady showed 
us every attention, and seemed particularly anxious that we should 
see all that was interesting or curious in the vicinity, while they 
constantly kept some Indian in the woods for our benefit. The 
Senhora was an exceedingly pretty woman, about twenty-two, 
and delighted us by her frank intercourse with strangers ; 
always sitting with them at the table, and conversing as a lady 
would do at home. This would not be noticeable except in Bra 
zil, and perhaps not universally there ; but we had ever found 
the ladies shy and reserved, and, although often at the table of 
married men, the lady of the house had never before sat down 
with us. The Senhora surprised and gratified us also by her 
knowledge of the United States, which she had obtained from oc- 
casional travellers. She had three little girls, Paulina, Pepita, 
and Lina, with a little boy of four years, Juan. All these chil- 
dren had light hair and fair complexions, and the blue-eyed baby 
Lina especially was as beautifully fair as though her home had 
been under northern skies. Juan was a brave little fellow, and 
was a frequent visitor of ours, delighting to be with a Gentio 
Indian who was employed in our back yard. This Indian had 
been out of the woods but a few weeks and could not speak Por- 
tuguese, but Juan could talk with him in the Lingoa Geral as 
though it had been his native tongue. 

Each of the children had an attendant ; the girls, pretty little 
Indians of nine or ten years, and Juan, a boy of about the same 
age. It was the business of these attendants to obey implicitly 
the orders of their little mistresses and master, and never to leave 
them. Juan and his boy spent much of their time in the river, 
taking as naturally to the water as young ducks. 

At six in the morning coffee was brought into our room, and 
the day was considered as fairly commenced. We then took our 
guns and found amusement in the woods until nearly eleven, 
which was the hour for breakfast. At this meal we never had 
coffee or tea, and rarely any vegetable excepting rice; but rich 



140 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xv. 

soups and dishes of turtle, meat, fish, and peixe boi, in several 
forms of preparation, loaded the table. The Brazilian method 
of cooking becomes very agreeable when one has conquered his 
repugnance to a slight flavour of garlic and the turtle-oil used 
in every dish. The dessert consisted of oranges, pacovas, and 
preserves. Puddings, unless of tapioca, are seldom seen, and 
pastry never, out of the city. "Water was brought if we asked 
for it, but the usual drink was a light Lisbon wine. The first 
movement upon taking our places at the table, was for each to 
make a pile of salt and peppers upon his plate, which, mashed 
and liquified by a little caldo or gravy, was in a condition to 
receive the meat. A bowl of caldo in the centre filled with 
farinha, whence every one could help himself with his own spoon, 
was always present. 

The remainder of the day we spent in preserving our birds, or 
if convenient in again visiting the forest. The dinner-hour was 
between six and seven, and that meal was substantially the same 
as breakfast. 

\Ve found at the house upon our arrival two gentlemen who 
had lately come from Venezuela, forty days' distance up the Rio 
Negro. One of them was a young German, William Berchen- 
brinck, who had come down merely as passenger, and who had 
been in the employment of a Spanish naturalist. The other was 
a regular trader, Senhor Antonio Dias, from San Carlos, and he 
had brought down a cargo of rope made from the fibres of the 
piassaba palm, and a quantity of grass hammocks. The piassaba 
rope is in great demand throughout the province, and is remark- 
able for its strength and elasticity, which qualities render it ad- 
mirable for cables. The only objection to it is its roughness, 
for the palm-fibres are unavoidably of large size. 

The hammocks were in general of cheap manufacture, valued 
at half a milree each. The grass of which they were made is 
yellow in colour, and of a strength and durability superior to Ma- 
nilla hemp. It grows in very great abundance throughout the 
country of the Rio Negro, and could be supplied to an unlimited 
extent. Senhor Antonio was a genius in his way. and some of his 
hammocks were exquisitely ornamented by himself with feather- 
work. One in particular was composed of cord twisted by hand, 
scarcely larger than linen thread ; and in its manufacture a familj 



CHAP, xv.] DESCENT OF THE NEGRO. 141 

of four persons had been employed more than a year. Its borders 
at the sides were one foot in width, and completely covered with 
embroidery in the most gaudy feathers. Upon one side were the 
arms of Brazil, upon the other those of Portugal, and the re- 
maining space was occupied by flowers and devices ingenious as 
ever seen in needlework. The feathers were attached to the frame 
of the borders by a resinous gum. Such hammocks are rather 
for ornament than use, and they are sought with avidity at Rio 
Janeiro by the curiosity-collectors of foreign courts. This one 
was valued at thirty silver dollars, which in the country of the 
Rio Negro is equal to one hundred in other parts of the empire. 

Senhor Antonio was something of a wag as well as a genius ; 
and as the blacks came to him at sunset for the customary blessing, 
making the sign of the cross upon their foreheads, his usual bene- 
diction was "God make you white." 

Berchenbrinck could speak English fluently, and was a very 
agreeable companion to us, besides being enabled from his own 
experience to contribute much to our information regarding the 
natural curiosities of the country. He had crossed from the Ori- 
noco to the Rio Negro by the Casiquiari, and in coming down 
with Senhor Antonio had been wellnigh drowned in descending one 
of the many rapids that obstruct this latter river. Their cargo 
had been sent round by land, but through some carelessness the 
vessel had been overturned and both our friends precipitated into 
the whirling flood, whence they were some time after drawn out 
almost insensible by their crew, who from the shore had watched 
the catastrophe. Mr. B. informed us that in the highlands be- 
tween the two rivers the Gallo de Serra, or cock of the rock, was 
abundant and frequently seen domesticated. This bird is the 
size of a large dove and wholly of a deep orange colour. Upon 
its head is a vertical crest of the same. The Indians shoot the 
cocks of the rock with poisoned arrows, and, stripping off the 
skins, sell them to travellers or traders, who purchase them for 
feather-work. We obtained a number of them at Barra, and, had 
we arrived a short time sooner, could have seen a living specimen 
which was in the garden of Senhor Henriquez. 

The Indians who accompanied Senhor Antonio were of a dif- 
ferent race from any we had seen, and looked very oddly from the 
manner in which they suffered their hair to grow ; shaving it close 



142 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xv. 

except just above the forehead, from which long locks hung about 
their cheeks. 

One day an old Spaniard arrived with a cargo of Chili hats. 
He was from Grenada, and had come down the river Xapo and 
the Solemoen. Besides his hats, which he was intending to take 
to the United States, he brought a quantity of pictures, or rather 
caricatures, of saints, as small change for his river expenses. 
Chili hats are a great article of trade at Barra. They are made 
of small strips of a species of palm twisted more or less finely. 
This palm was growing in the garden of Senhor Henriquez, and 
he gave us a bundle of the raw material. The leaf was of the 

O 

palmetto form, and looked much like the leaf of which Chinese 
fans are made. The value of the hats varies greatly, some being 
worth, even at the Barra, from fifteen to twenty dollars ; but the 
average price is from two to three dollars. We saw one of re- 
markable fineness, which was sent to Dr. Costa in a letter. 

The old Spaniard told us that much of the country upon the 
Napo was still wild, and that, in repeated instances, the Indians 
there brought him beautiful birds for sale which they had shot 
with poisoned arrows. Two hundred years ago Acuna described 
the Tucuna tribe as remarkable for their similar habit. 

The woods in the vicinity of Barra were a delightful resort to 
us, and more attractive than we had seen upon the Amazon. 
The land was not one dead level, swampy, or intersected by im- 
passable igaripes ; but there were gentle hills and tiny brooks of 
clearest water, and here, when weary of rambling, we could 
recline ourselves in the delicious shade, unmolested by carapanas, 
or the scarcely less vexatious wood-flies. The ground was often 
covered by evergreens of different varieties and exquisite forms, 
and many species of ferns were growing in the valleys. There 
were no sepaws or other climbing obstructions to our free passage, 
but a thousand lesser vines draped the low tree-tops with myriaos 
of flowers, new and attractive. Everywhere were paths, some 
made by the inhabitants in their frequent rambles, others by wild 
animals that come to the water ; and along these we could pass 
quietly to the feeding-trees of beautiful birds. 

Here were wont to haunt many varieties of trogons unknown 
to us ; and at any hour their plaintive tones could be heard from 
the lofty limb upon which they sat concealed. 



CHAP, xv.] BIRDS. 143 

Cuckoos of several species, their plumage glancing red in the 
light, flitted noiselessly through the branches, busied in searching 
for the worms, which were their favourite food. 

Purple jays, Garrulus cayanus, in large flocks like their blue 
cousins of North America, would alight on some fruit-tree 
chattering and gesticulating ; but shy ready to start at the break- 
ing of a twig. 

Motmots and chatterers were abundant as at Para ; the latter 
in greater variety, and still most gaudy of all. 

Goatsuckers, in plumage more exquisitely blended than any of 
the species we had ever seen, would start from some shade where 
they had been dozing the day-hours, and, flying a little distance, 
were an easy prey. 

Manikins were in great variety and in every bush ; tanagers 
whistled, and warblers faintly lisped their notes in the trees. 

Fly-catchers in endless variety were moving nimbly over the 
branches, or sallying out from their sentry stations upon their 
passing prey. 

Pigeons, some of varieties common at Para, others new to us, 
were cooing in the thicket or flying affrighted off. 

Tinami of all sizes were feeding along the path, or sporting in 
parties of half a dozen among the dry leaves. 

Curassows moved on with stately step like our wild turkey, 
picking here and there some delicate morsel, and uttering a loud 
peeping note ; or ran with outstretched neck and rapid strides, 
as they detected approaching danger. 

Guans were stripping the fruits from the low trees in parties 
of two and three, and constantly repeating a loud harsh note 
that proved their betrayal. 

Of all these birds the most beautiful after the chatterers were 
the trogons. There were half a dozen varieties, differing in size 
from the T. viridis, a small species whose body was scarcely 
larger than many of our sparrows, to the curuqua grande, Calurus 
auriceps (Gould), twice the size of a jay. All have long spread- 
ing tails, and their dense plumage makes them appear of greater 
size than the reality. They are solitary birds, and early in the 
morning, or late in the afternoon, may be observed sitting, singly 
or in pairs, some species upon the tallest trees, and others but a 
few feet above the ground, with tails outspread and drooping, 



144 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xv. 

watching for passing insects. Their appetites appeased, they 
spend the remainder of the day in the shade, uttering at intervals 
a mournful note, weil imitated by their common name, curuqua. 
This would serve tQ betray them to the hunter ; but they are 
great ventriloquists, and it is often impossible to discover them, 
although they are directly above one's head. The species vary 
in colouring as in size, but the backs of all are of a lustrous 
green or blue, and bellies of red, or pink, or yellow. The 
curuqua grande is occasionally seen at Barra ; but, frequenting 
the tallest forest, it "is exceedingly difficult to be obtained. We 
offered a high price for a specimen, and employed half the garri- 
son for this single bird without success. They reported that 
they even" day saw them, and frequently shot at them ; but that 
they never would come down. 

Their feathers were so loose, that, in falling when shot, they 
almost invariably lost many; and this, together with the tender- 
ness of their skins, made them the most difficult of birds to pre- 
serve. 

Of curassows or mutuns we never shot but one variety, the 
crested, of which we had found the nests near Serpa. But other 
species were common about the forests, and these, with others 
still brought from the upper country, were frequently seen do- 
mesticated. They are all familiar birds, and readily allow them- 
selves to be caressed. At night they often come into the house 
to roost, seeming to like the company of the parrots and other 
birds. They might easily be bred when thus domesticated, but 
the facility with which their nests are found renders this no 
object at Barra. They feed upon seeds and fruits, and are con- 
sidered superior, for the table, to any game of the country. The 
parraqua guan, Phasianus parraqua, was common but not domes- 
ticated. It resembled the mutuns in its habits, but in form had 
a larger neck and tail in proportion. A specimen which we 
shot exhibited a very curious formation of the windpipe, that 
organ passing beneath the skin, upon the outside of the body, to 
the extremity of the breast-bone, where it was attached by a 
ligament. Then re-curving it passed back, and entered the body 
as in other birds. Probably the loud trumpet-note of this bird is 
owing to this formation. 

Of parrots and toucans there were many new varieties, besides 



CHAP, xv.] A TIGER STORY THE CASUE'RIS. 145 

some of those common at Para. One species of paroquet was 
scarcely larger than a canary-bird. 

Oar hunters were mostly soldiers of the garrison, and for their 
labour we paid them ten cents per diem, and found them in 
powder and shot. When towards night they made their appear- 
ance with the fruits of their excursions, our table was richly 
loaded, and a long evening's work spread before us. 

Sometimes they would bring in animals, and upon one occasion 
we received a pair of small tiger-cats, called mdracajas. 

Mr. M'Culloch gave us the teeth of a jaguar which he had 
shot at his mill ; and we heard of a singular meeting between 
one of these animals and an Indian upon the road towards the 
mill. The jaguar was standing in the road as the Indian came 
out of the bushes not ten paces distant, and was looking, doubt- 
less, somewhat fiercely as he waited the unknown comer. The 
Indian was puzzled an instant, but, summoning his presence of 
mind, he took off his broad-brimmed hat, and made a low bow, 
with " Muito bem dias, meu senhor," or " A very good morning, 
sir." Such profound respect was not lost upon the jaguar, who 
turned slowly, and marched down the road with proper dignity. 

Several times during the latter part of our stay, when our 
names had acquired sorne celebrity, birds and other curiosities 
were brought in for sale ; and, upon one day in particular, such 
a zeal for vintens actuated all the little blackies and Indians, that 
our big-bellied bottles speedily became crowded to repletion 
with beetles, and lizards, and snakes, et id omne genus. 

Three miles back of Barra is the Casueris, a waterfall of 
which Mr. M'Culloch has taken advantage for his mill. The 
water falls over a ledge of yellowish red sand-rock, and during the 
dry season has a descent of twelve feet ; but during the wet 
season, the waters of the Rio Negro set back to such an extent 
that a fall is scarcely perceptible. These changes have their 
conveniences, for as, when the water is low, the wheel can be con- 
stantly turning, so, when it is high, the supply of logs can be 
floated directly to the mill. The greater part of the logs used are 
of cedar, rafted up from the Solimoen. Coming from the head- 
waters of the various streams, they are precipitated over cataracts, 
and rolled and crushed together until their limbs are entirely 
broken off. and their roots require but little trimming. Logs 



146 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP, xv- 

of other woods are cut upon the banks of the Rio Negro, and 
from low land, during the dry season. When the waters rise 
these logs are floated out. bound together, and rafted down. "We 
saw a variety of beautiful woods ; some of the most valuable of 
which, for cabinet purposes, were the Saboyerana, reddish, 
mottled with black, and varieties of satin-wood. These are 
scarcely known down the river, but through Mr. M'Culloch's 
enterprise they are in a fair way to be made common. The mill 
was a perfect Yankee mill, differing in no respect excepting in the 
materials of its frame ; woods beautiful as mahogany not being 
so accessible as hemlock in the United States. 

Heretofore all the boards used in the province of Para have 
been hewn in the forest by the Indians, who are remarkably 
expert at this kind of work, using a small adze like a cooper's 
hammer, and making the boards as smooth as with a plane. One 
log will make but two boards, and the labour of reducing to the 
requisite thinness is so tedious that very few builders can afford 
to use wood for the flooring of their houses. But these people 
are so proverbially slow in adopting innovations, that some years 
must elapse before this expensive system is changed. 

The Casueris, being a delightful spot, shaded by densely leaved 
trees, is the usual resort for Sunday pic-nic parties, which meet 
there for the fresh, cool air, and the luxurious bath. The Sen- 
hora Henriquez made a little party of the kind for our entertain- 
ment, which passed off delightfully, and much as such a party 
would have done at home. It was something novel to meet 
such an evidence of refinement so far out of the world, where 
we had expected to find nothing but wildness. But there was 
one feature that distinguished it from any pleasure-party I ever 
participated in amid civilization and refinement, and that was the 
bathing at the finale. In this there was litile fastidiousness, 
although perfect decorum. While the gentlemen were in the 
water, the ladies upon the bank were applauding, criticising, and 
comparing styles, for there were almost as many nations of us as 
individuals ; and when, in their turns, they darted through the 
water, or dived, like streaks of light, to the very bottom, they 
were in nowise distressed that we scrupled not at the same 
privilege. They were all practised and graceful swimmers, but 
the Seuhora particularly, as she rose with her long hair, long 



CHAP, xv-1 BATHING CATTLE A SELECT BALL. 147 

enough to sweep the ground when walking, enshrouding her in 
its silken folds, might have been taken for the living, new- 
world Venus. 

For bathing purposes, we never saw water that could compare 
with the Rio Negro. One came from its sparkling bosom with 
an exhilaration as if it had been the water of a mineral spring. 
In it the whole town, men, women, and children, performed 
daily ablutions, cleanliness being a part of the Brazilian religion. 
The women were usually in before sunrise, and we never saw, 
as some have asserted is the case, both sexes promiscuously in 
the water. 

"We crossed the river one day in a montaria, with three 
Indians, to visit a large campo. Our last mile was through 
woods, the low shrubbery of which was entirely overflowed, and 
as far down as we could see were trees in full leaf, looking like 
a bed of green. Many creeping plants bearing a profusion of 
flowers overhung our heads ; and of the finest, a dendrobium, 
with its clusters of pink and purple, we obtained a specimen, 
which we were fortunate enough to bring safely to the United 
States. In this retreat we observed a great number of trogons 
and doves, as though the water-side was their favourite resort. 
The trunks of the trees were all marked by the waters of the 
last year full five feet above their ordinary rise. That unpre- 
cedented flood poured over the low lands, and caused great 
devastation. 

The campo was some miles in length, covered with grass and 
low shrubs. The late dryness had deprived the grass of all its 
green, and the whole resembled more a desert than a meadow. 
There were a number of lean cattle and horses wandering about, 
looking for food with microscopic eyes. 

Cattle are rare at Barra, and we saw no milk during our stay. 
There was said to be one horse, but he was altogether beyond 
our ken ; and the honours of his genus were done by three asses, 
who were outrageous vagabonds and unfair proxies. 

A ball was got up for our especial advantage and honour one 
evening. Six ladies, some well dressed, some so-so, some tolerably 
white and some as tolerably dark, composed the lively part, and 
about a dozen gentlemen an essential part, of the gathering. 
One gentleman volunteered to the guitar, another to the violin ; 

1,2 



14? A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvi. 

one and another sent in refreshments, and an old lady took in 
charge the coffee. The ladies were very agreeable, differing 
mightily from the ladies at Pard dancing- parties, who do not go 
to talk. The dances were waltzes, cotillons, and fandangoes, 
and some of the ladies danced with extreme grace. Those who 
were deficient in grace made up in good will, and until a late 
nour all went on merrily and delightfully. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

WHILE we were at Barra, Senhor Gabriel, one of the dignitaries 
of the place, and a very agreeable gentleman, returned from an 
exploring expedition up one of the smaller rivers which flow into 
the Rio Negro between Barra and the Branco. Nothing had 
previously been known of the region lying adjacent to this stream, 
for vague traditions of hostile Indians had deterred even the 
adventurous frontiers-men from attempting its exploration. The 
Senhor described it as a beautiful rolling country, in many parts 
Irish, and covered by forests of magnificent growth. It was un- 
infested by earapanas, and never visited by fevers ; nor were 
there troublesome Indians to molest settlers. 

The Senhor gave us the skin of a large black monkey which 
he had killed during this excursion, and the nest and eggs of a 
white-collared hummer, the Trochilus melivorus. The nest was 
composed of the light down growing upon the exterior of a smaU 
berry, and surpassed anything we had seen in bird-architecture. 
The eggs were tiny things, white with a few spots of red. 

The Rio Branco is another interesting stream which sends its 
wealth to Barra. Its head -waters are in the highlands towards 
Guiana, and it flows through one of the loveliest and most desirable 
regions of tropical America. There are many settlements upon 
its banks, and an extensive traffic is carried on in cattle and 
produce. Far up among the mountains at the head of this river 
is found the marapanima, or turtle-wood, specimens of which may 
sometimes be seen made into canes. This is the heart of a tree, 
and is never more than a few inches in diameter. The only per- 
son who deals in it upon the Branco is a friar, who obtains it 
from some Indian tribe in the course of his mission, and, a few 



CHAP, xvi.] UNEXPLORED REGION TRADITIONS, &c. 149 

sticks at a time, he sends it to Para, where it is in great demand 
for canes and other light articles. In the same district are said 
to be valuable minerals, and we obtained of a canoe which had 
just come down a piece of red jaspar, susceptible of a fine 
polish, which was used as a flint. We saw also some large and 
beautiful crystals from the same highlands. 

The whole region north of the Amazon is watered by num- 
berless rivers, very many of which are still unexplored. It is a 
sort of bugbear country, where cannibal Indians and ferocious 
animals abound to the destruction of travellers. This portion of 
Brazil has always been fancy's peculiar domain, and even now 
all kinds of little El Dorados lie scattered far, far through the 
forest, where the gold and the diamonds are guarded by thrice 
horrible Cerberi. Upon the river- banks are Indians, watching 
the unwary stranger with bended bow and poisoned arrow upon 
the string. Some tribes, most provident, keep large pens akin to 
sheepfolds, where the late enthusiastic traveller awaits his doom 
as in the cave of Polyphemus. As if these obstructions were 
not enough, huge nondescript animals add their terrors, and the 
tormented sufferer makes costly vows that if he ever escapes he 
will not again venture into such an infernal country, even were 
the ground plated with gold and the dew-drops priceless diamonds. 
Some naturalist Frenchman or unbelieving German, long before 
the memory of the present generation, ventured up some inviting 
stream, and you hear of his undoubted fate as though your 
informant had seen the catastrophe. In instances related to us, 
no one seemed to allow that one might die in the course of nature 
while upon an exploring expedition, or that he might have had 
the good fortune to have succeeded, and to have penetrated to 
the other side. 

We heard one day that a peixe boi, or cow-fish, had just arrived 
in a montaria, anJ was lying upon the beach. Hurrying down, 
we were just in time to see the animal before he was cut up. He 
was about ten feet in length, and, as he lay upon his back, 
between two and three feet in height, presenting a conformation 
of body much like that of a " fine old English gentleman " whose 
two legs were developed into a broad flat tail. His back was 
covered sparsely with hairs, and his large muzzle was armed with 
short stiff bristles. His smooth belly was bluish-black in colour, 



150 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP xn. 

and much scarred by the bite of some inimical fish. There \vas 
nothing' corresponding" to legs ; but a pair of flappers, as of a 
turtle, answered his purposes of locomotion. Both eyes and 
ears were very small, but the nostrils were each an inch in 
diameter. The skin was one-fourth of an inch in thickness, and 
covered a deep coating of blubber, the extracted oil of which is 
used as butter in cooking. Under the blubber was the meat, 
something between beef and pork in taste. These curious 
animals are in great numbers upon the Solimoen, and are to the 
people what periecu is below, being, like that fish, cut into slabs 
and salted. This form is, however, very offensive to a stranger, 
and no Indian will eat dried peize boi if he can get anything 
else. These .animals do not venture upon land, but subsist upon 
the grass that lines the shores. When thus feeding they are 
lanced by the Indians, who know their places of resort and watch 
their appearance. Although from their bulk several men might 
be puzzled to lift a cow-fish from the water when dead, yet one 
Indian will stow the largest in his montaria without assistance. 
The boat is sunk under the body, and, rising, the difficult feat is 
accomplished. 

Not unfrequently a peixe boi is taken eighteen feet in length. 
Their thick skins formerly served the Indians for shields, and 
their jaw-bones as hammers. 

"We would gladly have bought this entire animal for the pur- 
pose of preserving his skeleton and skin. But as meat was in 
request that day, we were obliged to be content with the head, 
which we bore off in triumph, and cleansed of its muscle. This 
skull is now in the collection of Dr. Morton, and we learn from 
him that the peixe boi of the Amazon is a distinct species from 
the manatus sometimes seen in the districts adjacent to the Gulf 
of Mexico. 

Sometimes young cow-fishes are brought to Para, and we had 
there previously seen one in a cistern in the palace garden. It 
was fed on grass and was very tame, seeming delighted to be 
handled. Captain Appleton, who has taken greater interest in 
the wonders of this province than almost any person who ever 
visited Para, has twice succeeded in bringing young cow-fishes 
to New York, but they died soon after leaving his care. 

The turtles are a still greater blessing to the dwellers upon 



CHAP, xvi.] FECUNDITY OF THE TURTLE. 151 

be upper rivers. In the early part of the dry season these 
Viimals ascend the Amazon, probably from the sea, and assemble 
vpon the sandy islands and beaches left dry by the retiring waters 
.nthe Japiira and other tributaries. They deposit their eggs in 
the sand, and at this season all the people, for hundreds of miles 
round about, resort to the river-banks as regularly as to a fair. 
The eggs are collected into montarias or other proper receptacles 
and broken. The oil floating upon the surface is skimmed off 
with the valves of the large shells found in the river, and is 
poured into pots, each holding about six gallons. It is computed 
that a turtle lays one hundred and fifty eggs in a season. Twelve 
thousand eggs make one pot of oil, and six thousand pots are 
annually sent from the most noted localities. Consequently 
seventy-two millions of eggs are destroyed, which require four 
hundred and eighty thousand turtles to produce them. And yet 
but a small proportion of the whole number of eggs are broken. 
When fifty days have expired, the young cover the ground, and 
march in millions to the water, where swarms of enemies more 
destructive than man await their coming. Every branch of the 
Amazon is resorted to, more or less, in the same manner ; and 
the whole number of turtles is beyond all conjecture. As before 
remarked, those upon the Madeira are little molested, on account 
of the unhealthiness of the locality in which they breed. They 
are said to be of a different and smaller variety from those upon 
the Amazon. We received a different variety still from the 
Branco, and there may be many more yet undistinguished. The 
turtles are turned upon their backs when found upon the shore, 
picked up at leisure, and carried to different places upon the 
river. Frequently they are kept the year round in pens properly 
constructed, and one such that we saw at Villa Nova contained 
nearly one hundred. During the summer months they constitute 
a great proportion of the food of the people ; but when we con- 
sider their vast numbers, a long period must elapse before they 
sensibly diminish. Their average weight when taken is from 
fifty to seventy-five pounds, but many are much larger. Where 
they go after the breeding season no one knows, for they are 
never observed descending the river ; but from below Para more 
or less are seen ascending every season. They are mostly caught 
at this time in the lakes of clear water which so plentifully skirt 



152 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvi. 

either shore, and generally are taken with lances or small har- 
poons as they are sleeping on the surface. But the Muras have 
a way of capturing them peculiar to themselves ; shooting them 
with arrows from a little distance, the arrow being so elevated 
that in falling it strikes and penetrates the shell. In this, even 
long practice can scarcely make perfect ; and fifty arrows may be 
shot at the unconscious sleeper before he is secured. 

There are several other small varieties of turtles, or terrapins, 
somewhat esteemed as food, but in no request. Some of them are 
of curious form, and one in particular found about Para, instead of 
drawing in his head and neck as do most others of his family, 
finds sufficient security by laying them round upon his fore claw, 
under the projecting roof of shell. 

The land-turtles, jabatis, attain a size of from twenty to thirty 
pounds. They are delicious food, far superior in our estimation 
to their brethren of the water. Lieutenant Mawe somewhere 
remarks to this effect, that, in a country where the people are 
cannibals and eat monkeys, they might enjoy land-turtles. But 
the Lieutenant suffered his prejudices to run away with his judg- 
ment in a strange way for a sailor. 

We saw at Senhor Bentos' in Villa Nova turtles of this species, 
which he had in the yard as pets, and which seemed very well 
domesticated, eating pacovas or any sweet fruit. Some of these 
the Senhor had k?pt for seven years, and they bore no proportion 
in size to others seen. From this we inferred the great number 
of years that they must require before they arrive at maturity. 

Owing to its remote frontier position, Barra is under different 
influences from other Brazilian towns, and these are obser\able 
everywhere. The language spoken is a patois of Portuguese and 
Spanish, with no very slight mixture of the Lingoa Geral. This 
latter language must be spoken as matter of necessity. The cur- 
rency, too, is in good part of silver, as Spanish dollars, the Bra- 
zilian paper being but in scanty supply. 

The Indian population is vastly more numerous than below, 
and, from the absence of the causes that elsewhere have driven 
the Indians to the woods, the two races live together amicably, 
and will to all appearance in a few generations be entirely amal- 
gamated. Labour of course is very cheap. Senhor Henriquez 
had one hundred Spanish Indians in his employ, to whom he paid 



CHAP, xvi.] INDIANS FOREIGNERS- INDIAN ARTICLES. 153 

twelve and one-half cents each per diem. These were hired of 
the authorities beyond the frontiers, and they were protected by 
contract from being sent below Barra. They were of a darker 
colour and less finely featured than most Brazilian Indians whom 
we had seen. Part of them were employed in building houses, 
several of which were in progress of erection ; and part in a tila- 
ria within the town. When Lieutenant Smythe descended the 
Amazon rather more than ten years since, both houses and tilaria 
were in a sad. state, and the town was nearly stripped of inhabit- 
ants on account of recent political difficulties. But better times 
nave come, and a general prosperity is rapidly removing the 
appearances of decay. 

There were a great many pleasant people whose acquaintance 
we made, and who showed us such attentions as strangers love to 
receive. There are always in such towns a few strange wanderers 
from other countries, who have chanced along no one knows how. 
Such a one was a German we found there, Senhor Frederics. 
He had formerly belonged to a German regiment which was sta- 
tioned at Para, and had been lucky enough to escape the fate of 
most of his comrades, who had been killed during the revolution. 
He had found his way to the Barra, had married a pleasant lady 
of the place, and now practised his trade as a blacksmith. He 
was a man of tremendous limb and with a soul in proportion, and 
we were always glad to see him at our house. Another German 
was a carpenter ; and an odd genius from the north of Europe, 
but who had been a sailor in an English vessel and had picked up a 
collection of English phrases, officiated as sail-maker to the public. 

Through the kindness of Senhor Henriquez we obtained a 
great variety of Indian articles. The bows and lances are of some 
dark wood, and handsomely formed and finished. The former are 
about seven feet in length and deeply grooved upon the outer 
side. The bowstring is of hammock-grass. The lances are ten 
feet long, ornamented with carvings at the upper extremities and 
terminated by tassels of macaw's feathers. The arrows are in 
light sheaves, six to each, and are formed of cane, the points being 
of the hardest wood and poisoned. These are used in war and 
hunting, and differed from the arrows used in taking fish, in that 
the points of the latter are of strips of bamboo or bone. Those 
for wild hogs again are still different, being terminated by a 



154 A VOYAGE UP TflE RIVER AMAZOX. [CHAP. xvi. 

broad strip of bamboo fashioned in the shape of a pen. This 
form inflicts a more effectual wound. In the same way, the 
javelins are pointed, the stems being of hard wood and much 
ornamented with feather-work. 

But the most curious and the most formidable weapon is the 
blowing cane. This is eight or ten feet in length, two inches in 
diameter at the larger end, and gradually tapering to less than an 
inch at the other extremity. It is usually formed by two grooved 
pieces of wood, fastened together by a winding of rattan and care- 
fully pitched. The bore is less than half an inch in diameter. 
The arrow for this cane is a splint of a palm one foot in length, 
sharpened at one end to a delicate point, and at the other wound 
with the silky tree-cotton 10 the size of the tube. The point of 
this is dipped in poison and slightly cut around, that, when striking 
an object, it may break by its own weight, leaving the point in 
the wound. 

"With this instrument, an Indian will by the mere force of his 
breath shoot with the precision of a rifle, hitting an object at a 
distance of several rods. Our Gentio Pedro never used any 
other weapon ; and we saw him one day shoot at a turkey- 
buzzard upon a house-top at a distance of about eight rods. The 
arrow struck fairly in the breast, the bird flew over the house and 
fell dead. Senhor Henriquez assured us that an Indian formerly 
in his employ, at one time and another, had brought in seven 
harpy eagles thus shot. 

The accounts we received of the composition of this poison were 
not very explicit, and amounted principally to this : that it was 
made by the Indians at the head-waters of the Rio Branco from the 
sap of some unknown tree ; that it was used universally by the 
tribes of Northern Brazil in killing game, being equally efficacious 
against small birds and large animals ; that the antidotes to its 
effect were sugar and salt applied externally and internally. It 
comes in small earthen pots, each holding about a gill, and is hard 
and black, resembling pitch. It readily dissolves in water and is 
then of a reddish-brown colour. Taken into the stomach it pro- 
duces no ill effects. We brought home several pots of this poison, 
and, by experiments under the superintendence of Dr. Trudeau, 
fully satisfied ourselves of its efficacy. The subjects were a sheep, 
a rabbit, and chickens. The latter, after the introduction of one 



CHAP, xvi.] POISON USED UPON ARROWS. 153 

or two drops of the liquid poison into a slight wound in the breast or 
neck, were instantly affected, and in from two to three minutes were 
wholly paralyzed, although more than ten minutes elapsed before 
they were dead. The rabbit was poisoned in the fore-shoulder and 
died in the same manner, being seized with spasms and wholly 
paralyzed in eight minutes. The effect upon the sheep was more 
speedy, as the poison was applied to a severed vein of the neck. 

As M. Humboldt witnessed the preparation of the poison, and 
has given a full account of his observations, his recital will here 
not be out of place. The Indian name is Curare. It is made 
from the juice of the bark and the contiguous wood of a creeping 
plant called the mavacure, which is found upon the highlands of 
Guiana. The wood is scraped and the filaments mashed. The 
yellowish mass resulting is placed in a funnel of palm-leaves ; 
cold water is poured upon it, and the poisonous liquid filters drop 
by drop. It is now evaporated in a vessel of clay. There is 
nothing noxious in its vapour, nor until concentrated is the 
liquid considered as poisonous. In order to render it of sufficient 
consistence to be applied to the arrows, a concentrated glutinous 
infusion of another plant, called kiracaguero, is mixed with it, 
being poured in while the curare is in a state of ebullition. The 
resulting mixture becomes black and of a tarry consistence. 
When dry it resembles opium, but upon exposure to the air 
absorbs moisture. Its taste is not disagreeable, and unless there 
be a wound upon the lips it may be swallowed with impunity. 
There are two varieties, one prepared from the roots, the other 
from the trunk and branches. The latter is the stronger, and is 
the kind used upon the' Amazon. It will cause the death of 
large birds in from two to three minutes, of a hog in from ten to 
twelve. The symptoms in wounded men are the same as those 
resulting from serpent-bites, being vertigo, attended with nausea, 
vomitings, and numbness in the parts adjacent to the wound. 
It is the general belief that salt is an antidote, but upon the 
Amazon sugar is preferred. 

The Indian stools were curious affairs, legs and all being cut 
from the solid block. The tops were hollowed to form a con- 
venient seat, and were very prettily stained with some dye. 

Beside these things were various articles woven of cotton, and 
of extreme beauty; sashes, bags, and an apoaratus worn when 



156 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvi. 

hunting, being a girdle to which were suspended little pouches 
for shot and flints. 

The civilized Indians rarely use their ancient weapons, except 
in taking fish. Cheap German guns are abundant throughout 
the country, and it is wonderful that accidents do not frequently 
occur with their use. Unless a gun recoils smartly, an Indian 
thinks it is worth nothing to shoot with ; and we knew of an in- 
stance where a gun was taken to the smith's and bored in the 
breech to produce this desirable effect. 

Senhor Henriquez has establishments upon several of the upper 
rivers. Coarse German and English dry goods, Lowell shirtings, 
a few descriptions of hardware, Salem soap, beads, needles, and 
a few other fancy articles, constitute a trader's stock. In return 
are brought down, balsam, gums, wax, drugs, turtle-oil, tobacco, 
fish, and hammocks. 

When Senhor H. goes to Ega, a distance of less than four 
hundred miles, he forwards a vessel thirty days before his own 
departure, intending to overtake it before its arrival. So tedious 
is navigation. 

The quantity of balsam copaiva brought down is prodigious. 
There were lying upon the beach at Barra two hollowed logs in 
which balsam had been floated down from above. One had con- 
tained twenty-five hundred, and the other sixteen hundred gallons. 
They had been filled and carefully sealed over ; and in this way 
had arrived without loss, whereas in jars the leakage and breakage 
would have been considerable. At Barra the balsam is trans- 
ferred to jars ami shipped to the city. There much of it is bought 
up by the Jews, who adulterate it with other gums and sell it to 
the exporters. It is then put up in barrels, or in tin or earthen 
vessels, according to the market for which it is intended. 

The tree grows in the vicinity of Barra, and we were very 
desirous of obtaining at least some leaves, but delay of one day 
after another at last made it impossible. The tree is of large size, 
and is tapped by a deep incision, often to the heart. In this latter 
case the yield is greater, but the tree dies. The average yield 
is from five to ten gallons. 

Sarsaparilla is another great article of production. It is 
found throughout the province ; and when collected arid care- 
lessly preserved is packed in so rascally a manner as to destroy 



CHAP, xvi.] VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. 157 

its own market. We saw some that was cultivated in a garden, 
and its large size and increased strength showed clearly enough 
that, by proper care, the salsa of Para might compete with the 
best in any market. It is a favourite remedy in the country ; 
and when fresh, an infusion of it sweetened with sugar forms 
an agreeable drink. 

Quinia grows also pretty universally. Happily for inter- 
mittent fevers, opportunities rarely occur of testing its qualities. 
We never encountered but one case of this fever, which we were 
enabled to relieve by a single dose from our medicine-box. 

Vanilla grows everywhere, and might by cultivation be elevated 
into a valuable product. 

Tonga beans are brought to Barra from the forest. 

Indigo of superior quality is raised in sufficient quantities for 
home consumption, and might be to any extent. 

Not far from Barra is obtained the nut of which guarana is 
made, which article is extensively consumed throughout the 
greater part of Brazil in the form of a drink. The plant is said 
to produce a nut shaped somewhat like a cherry, and this is roasted, 
pounded fine, and formed into balls. A teaspoonful grated into 
a tumbler of water forms a pleasant beverage ; but when drunk 
to excess, as is generally the case, its narcotic effects greatly 
injure the system. The grater, used for this and other purposes, 
is the rough tongue-bone of one of the large river-fish. 

There is another fruit, called pixiri, considered as an admirable 
substitute for nutmeg. It is covered with a slight skin, and 
when this is removed falls into two hemispherical pieces. Its 
flavour is rather more like sassafras than nutmeg. 

Seringa-trees abound upon the Amazon, probably to its head- 
waters. The demand for the gum has not yet been felt at Barra, 
where it is only used for medicinal purposes, being applied, when 
fresh, to inflammations. But when it is wanted, enough can be 
forthcoming to coat the civilized world. 

The sumaumeira-tree, which yields a long-stapled, silky, 
white cotton, grows upon the banks of the Rio Negro in great 
abundance, and could probably be made of service, were it once 
known to the cotton-weaving communities. It is excessively 
light, flying like down ; but the Indians make beautiful fabrics of it. 

Another article which might be made of inestimable value to 



158 A VOYAGE UP f HE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. X\T; 

the country is salt. Upon the Huallaca, and perhaps other 
tributaries, are hills of this mineral in the rock, and so favourably 
situated as to fall, when chipped off, directly upon the rafts of 
the Indians who collect it, and bring it as far down as Ega. It 
sometimes finds its way to Barra, and we were fortunate in 
obtaining a piece weighing nearly one hundred pounds. It is of 
a pinkish colour, and is impregnated with some foreign substance 
that needs to be removed. Some enterprising Yankee will make 
his fortune by it yet. All the salt now used, throughout an area 
of one million square miles, is imported from Lisbon, and at an 
enormous expense. 

Before closing this chapter a brief mention of the principal 
towns and of the larger rivers above the Negro may not be 
inappropriate. At a distance of one hundred miles from Barra 
enters the river Perus, a mighty stream, flowing from the 
mountains of Bolivia. "We were informed by individuals who 
had voyaged upon this river that its course was more winding 
than any other ; that it was entirely unobstructed by rapids, 
and therefore preferable to the Madeira as a means of com- 
munication with the countries upon the Pacific. Its banks 
abound in seringa- trees ; and cacao, of good quality, is brought 
down by traders. 

Three hundred miles above Barra is the town of Ega, upon 
the southern side of the Amazon. It stands upon a river of 
clear water, which is navigable for canoes to a distance of several 
hundred mile", but for larger vessels but a few days' journey. 
The town contains about one thousand persons. Upon the 
northern side comes in the Japura, through many channels. 
This river rises in the mountains of New Grenada, and its broad 
channel is sprinkled with a thousand islands. During the wet 
season it is one of the greater branches of the Amazon, and flows 
with a furious current ; but during the dry season it is so filled 
with sandy shoals that navigation is impossible. Here the turtles 
frequent, and dow r n the torrent come vast numbers of cedars. 
The Japura is said to have communication with the Negro by 
some of its upper branches. It forms the line of boundary 
between the Spanish and Brazilian territories. Its region is 
considered unhealthy; and, owing to this reputation, and the 
obstructions to navigation, is little settled by whites. 



CHAP, xvi.] THE AMAZON THE NEGRO. 159 

Opposite one of the mouths of the Japiira is the little town 
of Fonteboa, one hundred miles above Ega. The rivers flowing 
into the Amazon in this vicinity are numerous and large, but 
their courses are said to be laid down upon maps with the 
greatest inaccuracy. 

The most remote town is Tabatinga, on the northern bank, 
opposite the mouth of the Javari. This town contains but a few 
hundred inhabitants. Its distance from Para is from sixteen to 
eighteen hundred miles, a six months' journey for the river 
craft. The country between Tabatinga and the Madeira was 
formerly inhabited by a tribe called Solimoens, and that part of 
the river between the Negro and the Ucayali is called by their 
name. 

Beyond the Brazilian frontiers enter many great branches, 
the Napo, the Maranon or Tunguragua, and the Ucayali. The 
last is considered the main stream, and down its western branch, 
the Huallaca, Messrs. Smythe and Lowe came in 1834, starting 
from Lima. They were in search of a navigable communication 
between the two oceans, but were unsuccessful. Whether such 
a stream exists as, by a few miles' portage, would answer this 
purpose is problematical. The country has never been thoroughly 
explored. The depth of the Amazon fora long distance up the 
Ucayali is very great ; at every -season navigable for steamboats, 
unobstructed by rapids, snags, or sawyers. 

The Negro receives in its course about forty tributaries, and, 
from the healthiness of the region through which it flows, has 
long been a favourite resort of settlers. A greater number of 
towns are upon its banks than upon any other branch of the 
Amazon. At nine days' distance from Barra is the town of 
Barcellos, formerly the capital of the district of 'the Rio Negro. 
Eight days beyond this are rapids, and these are found in 
succession for a distance of twenty days. At forty days' distance 
from Barra is the Casiquiari, the connecting stream with the 
Orinoco. Its passage is frequently made, and we encountered 
several persons who had crossed from Angostura. 



160 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. "CHAP. xvn. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

AFTER twenty days had passed delightfully we prepared to 
leave the Barra upon the 28th of July, in the galliota, which 
was to return for Dr. Costa, who was probably awaiting us at 
Para. Senhor Pinto, the delegarde, had promised us some 
Indians, and another official had assured us of others ; but it was 
discovered when upon the beach, at the last moment, that both 
had counted upon the same men. These were three of the Villa 
-Nova police, who happened to be up, and with our Gentio, 
Pedro, and one other whom Senhor Henriquez lent us, were all 
we could muster. They were less than half our complement, 
and none of them were to go below Villa Nova. We had letters 
to the commandante of that place, and he was to provide men 
for our further advance, in consideration of our bein the bearers of 
his majesty's mail and of despatches from Venezuela. This mail 
proved a great acquisition, and I would advise all travellers 
upon the Amazon to secure the same charge. 

It was three o'clock in the afternoon when our friends gathered 
upon the beach to bid us adieu. From all of them, although 
our acquaintance had been so very brief, we were sorry to part ; 
but from Senhor Henriquez, to whom we had been under a 
thousand obligations, and from Mr. Bradley and Mr. Williams. 
who had so long been our companions, and to whom we were 
the more closely drawn from our being strangers together in a 
stransre land, the last embrace was peculiarly painful. Messrs. 
M'Culloch and Sawtelle had left some days previously for the 
upper waters of the Rio Negro. We had said adeos to the 
Senhora Henriquez an hour before, and her husband told us 
that, after our departure from the house, she had sat down to a 
quiet little weep on our account. 

The kind lady had sent down to the galliota a store of meat 
and chickens sufficient for some days to come, besides a large 
basket of cakes made of tapioca, and a turtle. To these she 
had added half a dozen parrots and paroquets, as companions of 
our voyage. 

Senhor Pinto had had a large basket made, and in it were a pair 



CIIAI-. xvii.] RE-ENTER THE AMAZON SERPA. 161 

of the beautiful geese of the country, Chenalopix jubatus (Spix), 
called marakongs, and a Yacou guan, a rare species from the 
country above. With these was also a red and yellow macaw, 
which was unusually tame, and promised to keep the parrots in 
subjection. Most of our mutuns we were obliged to leave 
behind for want of room ; and a tiny monkey, which we had 
bought for a lady friend at home, was retained by his rascally 
master on the plea that he was in a tree in the yard and that he 
could not catch him. 

Barra quickly disappeared from view, and before dark we 
were floating down the Amazon at the rate of about four miles 
an-hour. There were but two of us, and we were just enough 
to fill the cabin comfortably, reserving any spare corners for our 
collections of one article and another, and for any of the 
respectably behaved parrots. The geese and their basket were 
slung by the side of the cabin, and the macaw was elevated upon 
a cross in front of the tolda. Below were several logs of 
beautiful woods, and a few bags of coffee, which some friend 
had shipped for Santarem. A few turtles found space to turn 
themselves among the rest, and answered well as ballast. The 
sail was left behind, as we had no further use for it, the wind 
generally blowing strongly from below. 

In the middle of the stream carapanas did not molest us, 
and we slept through the night as quietly as if at home. There 
was no danger of encountering snags or floating logs, and there- 
fore we kept no watch, but let the boat drift down stern foremost. 

Early upon the 29th we passed the mouth of the Madeira, and, 
shortly after, the village of our old tau9ha. A number of people 
were upon the hill and seemed beckoning us to stop, but we were 
not desirous of further intimacy with his highness or any of his 
subjects. When upon better terms, the old man had very 
politely invited us to stop a few days with him upon our descent, 
and had promised us great assistance in collecting birds and shells. 

Before daybreak upon the 30th we were moored off Serpa. 
Here we had hoped to obtain additional men, but Senhor Manoel 
Jochin was absent upon the Madeira, and, excepting one petty 
officer and a few soldiers, not a man was left in the place. 
Senhora Jochin commiserated our situation, and offered to enlist 
a complement of women, but this was too terrible to think of. 

M 



162 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON*. [CHAP. xvn. 

She sent us some roasted chickens, eggs, and pacovas ; and as we 
had nothing further to detain us, we cast loose from Serpa. 

Meanwhile two of our policemen had taken their montaria and 
deserted, leaving us with but three men. This number was 
hardly sufficient to keep the boat in its course, but fortunately 

there was little wind. A and I took our turns at the helm, 

and we soon discovered that, however romantic the working one's 
passage down the Amazon might seem at a distance, as a hot 
reality it was exceedingly disagreeable. 

The day was delightful, arid we floated with such rapidity that 
the quick succession of turns and points and islands made time 
pass most pleasantly. "We could readily imagine what a fairy 
scene the river would be could we pass with steam-boat speed. 

We longed to know what sort of arrangements Noah made 
for his parrots. Thus far ours had been left pretty much to 
their own discretion, and the necessity for an immediate " setting 
up of family government" was hourly more urgent. The 
macaw, no wise contented with his elevation, had climbed down, 
and was perpetually quarrelling with a pair of green parrots, and 
all the time so hoarsely screaming that we were tempted to twist 
his neck. The parrots had to have a pitched battle over every 
ear of corn, and both they and the macaw had repeatedly flown 
into the water, where they but narrowly escaped a grave. There 
were two green paroquets, and one odd one prettiest of all, with 
a yellow top, and they could not agree any better than their 
elders. Yellow-top prided himself on his strength and considered 
himself as good as a dozen green ones, while they resented his 
impudence, and scolded away in ear-piercing tones that made the 
cabin an inferno. At other times they all three banded together, 
and, trotting about deck, insulted the parrots with their imperti- 
nences. When a flock of their relations passed over, the whole 
family set up a scream which might have been heard by all the 
birds within a league ; and if a duck flew by, which was very 
often, our geese would call in tones like a trumpet, and the guan 
would shrilly whistle. When we came to the shore we were 
obliged to shut up our proteges in the tolda. or they were sure 
to scramble up the nearest limb, or fly into the water and swim 
for the bank. Really it would have troubled a Job, but we could 
see no relief. 



CHAP, xvii.] SNAKE-BIRDGEESEHERONS. 1G3 

In the afternoon, instead of taking a smaller passage by which 
we had ascended, we continued with the main current, and passed 
a collection of houses known as Tabocal. Each house stood 
upon a little point overhanging the water, and the general 
appearance was neat and pleasing. The people were all fisher- 
men, and the river, aided by a little patch of mandioca, supplied 
all their wants. There were also a great many orange-trees, 
which indicated rather more providence than usual in the river 
settlers. 

We shot a female snake-bird, Plotus anhinga, in full plumage. 
The Indians asserted very positively that this was a different 
species from that found below, calling it, by way of distinction, 
the Carara de Rio Branco. We had no opportunity afterwards 
of verifying their account, and the only specimen that we had 
shot upon our ascent was a young male of this same species. 
But whether there be one species or two, the darter is common 
everywhere upon the river and upon Marajo. The Surinam 
darter is probably quite as abundant, but from its small size more 
easily overlooked. We obtained one of these at Barra, and after- 
wards saw several in a collection at Jungcal. 

Upon the 31st, as we were stopping in the forest to breakfast, 
our geese called up a kindred wild one, which we shot and pre- 
served. This species I have before mentioned as the Chenalopix 
jubatus (Spix). It is more elegant in its movements than any of 
its family with which we are acquainted, being small, with long 
neck and legs, and extremely active. It walks with stately step, 
but usually its motion approaches a run, with outspread wings 
and proudly arching neck. It is not seen at Para, but is common 
above, and is much prized by gentlemen as ornamental to their 
yards. 

At about ten o'clock we reached the place where in ascending 
we had seen a few herons' nests. Now the trees along the shore 
were white with the birds ; and a boat moored to the bank in- 
dicated that some persons were collecting eggs. Taking one of 
the men with the montaria, leaving the galliota to float with the 
current, we started for the spot. The trees were of the loftiest 
height, and in every fork qf the branches where a nest could be 
formed sat the female birds, some with their long plumes hang- 
ing down like the first curving of a tiny cascade ; others in the 

M2 



164 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvu. 

ragged plumage of the moulting season. The male birds were 
scattered over the tr^e-tops, some hoarsely talking to their mates, 
others busily engaged in dressing their snowy robes, and others 
quietly dozing. The loud clamour of their mingled voices so 
deafened us, that we were obliged to speak to each other in 
screams. The report of the gun made no impression upon the 
thousands around, and the marked bird fell unnoticed. Many of 
the trees were half denuded of their bark by the animals who had 
climbed up, and the tracks of tigers, large and small, exposed 
the marauders. We shot an iguana which was sucking the eggs 
from a nest, and the Indians whom we found assured us that they 
had seen large snakes in the trees on like errands. Dead birds 
strewed the ground, some partly devoured, and others nothing but 
skeletons upon which the swarms of ants had feasted. Soiled 
plumes were in profusion, but ruined beyond redemption, and we 
did not care to gather them. There was to be seen but one pair 
of the great blue herons, the rest were all the great white herons, 
A. alba. We shot about a dozen of these in fullest plumage, and 
prepared to hasten after our boat. There were two men collect- 
ing eggs, but, owing to the size and loftiness of the trees and the 
multitudes of stinging ants which infested them, they had made 
but little progress. They had ascended but one tree, and with a 
bag and string had let down thirty-four eggs, which we bought 
for twelve cents. They were blue, and the size of small hens' 

eggs- 
There was another breeding-place of this kind opposite Serpa, 
and we had intended spending a day within it had Senhor Manoel 
Jochin been at home. 

We arrived at Villa Nova about noon of August 1st, having 
in forty-eight hours made a distance which required ei-rht days in 
ascending. Senhor Bentos invited us to make his house our 
home during our stay, and we at once moved into it, leaving the 
galliota in charge of Pedro and his comrade. The Commandante 
was absent, and we were likely to be detained some days, as no 
spare men were in the place, and several other voyagers were in 
the same predicament as ourselves. But there was no use in 
complaining, and, come what might, we were in comfortable 
quarters. 

When we went up the town was crowded from the sitios in 



CHAP, xvii.] VILLA NOVA VISIT TO THE LAKE. 165 

the vicinity, on account of the festa of St. Juan ; but now many 
of the houses were closed, their inmates being in the country for 
the summer, and everything bore an aspect of dreariness. 

The next day was Sunday, but there were no services in the 
church, the padre being absent on some of his trading expedi- 
tions ; but in the afternoon there was a procession of the women 
and children, preceded by " that same old " drum. 

The Commandante had returned, and we called to pay him our 
respects and make known our wants. He was a very young 
man, and appeared anxious to oblige us by every means in his 
power. He promised to forward us with twelve men and a pilot 
if we would only wait a few days until he could obtain them from 
the woods. Of course we could but choose the only alternative, 
though our friend's promise enabled us to bear the infliction 
with a tolerable grace. He was very indignant at the recital of 
our desertion by two of his men, and, before he had heard the 
story out, had ordered them to the calaboose with the et ceteras. 

This day was memorable in that we then for the first time since 
we had been in Brazil saw tomatoes. They were little and few, 
for the climate is unfavourable to their growth. Ocra is much 
more common, arid is eaten both in soups and with boiled dishes. 
It seems strange that directly under the equator the Brazilians 
can live as they do upon turtle, and meat, and fish. With all 
this they consume vast quantities of casha^a, which is as bad as 
New England rum, and sleep in the interior towns about sixteen 
hours out of the twenty-four. And yet we saw very many old 
men of sixty and seventy years, and scarcely ever knew a case of 
sickness. 

Next morning a large party of us went to the lake. A well- 
beaten road led to its side, and we found it a pretty sheet of clear 
water in a valley of considerable depression. Large fields of 
grass were floating upon the surface at the will of the winds, and 
from them were startled many ducks, Anas autumnalis, of which 
we shot enough for a dinner. They were now in pairs, just 
about to commence their breeding-season ; at which time they 
resort to inland lakes, whither every one who can raise a gun and 
a montaria follows them. There were several Indian houses 
about this lake, and at a distance were two men in montarias en- 
gaged in taking periecu. Every man of consequence in Villa 



166 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvn. 

Nova employs an Indian or black in fishing, selling the surplus 
of what he himself wants. 

The Indians were building one of their largest vessels upon the 
beach at Villa Nova, and it was a matter of astonishment to us 
that their carpenters could cut the planks and timbers with so 
great facility and fit them with such precision, using only a hand- 
saw and the little adze of the country ; while the timber was of 
almost iron hardness, and impenetrable to worms or insects. 
The shape of these river embarca<joens is calculated for anything 
but speed, they being broad, round-bottomed, and nearly square- 
bowed. A vessel after the model of the Hudson river sloops 
would ascend the Amazon in half the time now required. 

The little montarias are constructed in a different manner from 
Indian canoes in other countries. A log is selected, not more 
than a foot in diameter, and properly hollowed, through as narrow 
an aperture as will allow of working. This finished, it is laid 
over a fire, bottom side up, and the aperture is thus enlarged as is 
requisite. The outside is properly modelled, and upon either 
gunwale is fastened a strip of board six inches in width, meeting 
at each end of the boat. They are usually about fifteen feet in 
length, and a load of Indians will cross the river when the edges 
of their tottleish craft are scarcely above the water, and when white 
men would certainly be overturned. In such labour as boat- 
building, timber-hewing, paddling, and making of hammocks, 
the Indians enjoy an uncontested superiority, although in any 
other they are worse than useless. 

Our boatmen were to have arrived on Tuesday night, but upon 
going to the beach the next morning we saw the Commandante 
just pushing off with eleven men in two boats. His sergeant, he 
said, had returned without a man, and he had ordered him to the 
calaboose for disobeying orders ; now he was going upon our 
errand himself, and would have the men at any rate. This 
Commandante was a noble fellow, and, although he was acting 
under orders, yet he entered into our plans with so much good- 
will as to make us personally indebted to him. He had taken all 
the workmen from the boat, and the beach and town were as still 
as a New England village on a Sunday. 

The poor sergeant who was in durance for his misfortune had 
the best reason in the world for not bringing the men, the first 



CHAP, xvn.] MILITARY AUTHORITIES SCHOOL. 167 



and most important point being to find them. This was no easy 
matter when the hunted ones were unwilling Indians in their own 
woods. 

The military officers in these inland towns are despotic for evil 
or good, and according as they are public-spirited men does the 
town prosper. At Serpa everything appeared careless and dis- 
orderly ; at Villa Nova, on the contrary, a change was evidently 
taking place for the better, and even since we had passed up the 
river the vicinity had undergone an entire transformation. The 
soldiers had been employed in cutting down the bushes that 
encroached upon the town, in pulling down and removing the 
crazy hovels, in building handsome fences about the houses of the 
officers, and in clearing and repairing the road leading to the lake. 

Near our house a school was in daily session, and as the path 
to the woods ran directly by it, we took frequent peeps at the 
little fellows within. The master was a deputy, a boy of sixteen, 
and a flock of children of all colours were gathered around him, 
all talking or studying at the top of their voices. Here these 
future statesmen learned reading and writing, and a little arith- 
metic. The Brazilians generally are very neat in their chiro- 
graph) 1 . The government pays the salary of the head teacher, or 
professor as he is styled. In Villa Nova his salary was one hun- 
dred and fifty milrees annually, from which he deputized as 
cheaply as possible. This professor, Senhor Amarelles, who by 
the way was one of the dignitaries of the place, concentrating in 
himself some half a dozen offices, chanced to be in possession of 
a counterfeit note ; and this he desired the shopkeeper of the 
place to palm off upon us, as we, being strangers, he said, would 
not kjiow the difference. Very dubious morality for a school- 
master. 

A propos, there -were an unusual number of vultures about 
Villa Nova, the Cathartes atratus . of Wilson ; and indeed this 
species is seen more or less everywhere upon the river. At Para 
particularly they are seen by hundreds about the slaughter-yard, 
and with them may occasionally be seen a red-headed species, 
which we supposed to be the common turkey -buzzard of the 
north, C. aura, but which it has been suggested may more 
probably be the Cathartes burrovianus of Cassin. Unfortunately 
we did not preserve specimens of this bird. . There is a third 



168 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvu. 

species, the King of the Vultures, Sarcoramphus papa, or, as it is 
called in Brazil, Urubu-tinga. The termination tinga in the 
lingoa geral means king, and this bird well deserves the name 
from its beauty and superior strength. If a king vulture makes 
its appearance where a number of the other species are collected 
about carrion, the latter instinctively give way and stand meekly 
around while their sovereign leisurely gorges himself. These 
birds are not very common upon the Amazon, and we never had 
an opportunity of shooting them, but several times we observed 
them circling in pairs over the forest. Senhor Henriquez 
informed us at the Barra that they were not unfrequently taken 
alive, particularly if a putrid snake, of which they are fond, be 
exposed to them. A noose is arranged to fall over their heads, 
and the caught bird is transformed from a wild marauder into a 
peaceable citizen. At Pard. they are highly valued. "\Ve saw a 
pair in perfect plumage which were presented to Mr. Norris. and 
felt nothing of the disgust inspired by the other common species. 
Their bare necks were beautifully marked with red and black, 
orange and yellow, and were surrounded near the base by a 
ruffle of feathers. Their breasts were white, and the general 
colour of the upper parts was a light ashy gray. These birds 
were very active, moving about the yard with a leap rather than 
a step. 

At last, upon Saturday the 8th, the Commandante returned suc- 
cessful, and by five o'clock in the afternoon we were ready to 
bid a glad adieu to Villa Nova. During our stay Senhor Bentos 
had been perpetually studying ways of obliging us, and at last he 
overwhelmed us with all kinds of gift*, even to a hammock and 
towels. He killed a cow for us, packed up two baskets of 
chickens, sent down a pair of his pet land-turtles, a supply 
of fkrinha and oranges, bought or begged a curious parrot from 
the Rio Tapajos, and added to it all the parrots which he had 
about the house, and even a basket of half-fledged doves. More- 
over, after we had pushed from the shore and descended several 
miles, a montaria overtook us with one of the Senhor's house- 
servants, whom he had sent with orders to accompany us as far 
as we wished, and to attend to our cooking. When the hour 
for parting came we found the good old man in his hammock, the 
tears coursing down his cheeks, and apparently in great distress. 



CHAP, xvir] DESERTION OF PEDRO OBIDOS. 169 

He threw his arms about our necks and sobbed like a child, and 
it was only after an interval of several minutes that he let us go, 
loaded with a hundred blessings. 

Our men were nearly all of the tribe of Gentios, the best 
upon the river. Among them were two free negroes who had 
been admitted to the rights of tribeship. To look after them 
the Commandante sent also a corporal and a sergeant ; the 
former of whom was to be pilot, and the latter a gentleman of 
leisure. 

During the preceding night Pedro had been seduced away by 
a white man who was engaged in fishing in some of the lakes. 
Pedro had seen quite enough of civilization, and longed for his 
woods and freedom again. We had found him one of the best- 
natured fellows in the world, and there was no fault in him 
except his inquisitiveness, which was natural enough. He was 
always for trying on our hats, or using our brushes and combs, 
or some similar liberty, and there was no use in attempting to 
explain the impropriety of the thing. 

Our load was now considerably increased. The few turtle with 
which we had started from Barra were reinforced to the number 
of fifteen, and filled all the space beneath the cabin-floor and a 
good share of the tolda. In the bow some trader had stowed 
several pots of balsam, and had had the assurance to further 
impose upon our good will by demanding a receipt for the same, 
which he did not get. 

Early in the morning of the 10th we passed Obidos. Sailing 
as we did in the middle of the channel, the shores appeared to 
fine advantage, and yet we could obtain but a very indifferent 
idea of the country or of its productions at such a distance. We 
had hoped to collect a number of birds and plants whose 
localities we had marked in ascending, but we found it impossible 
to stop, even could we have recognised the proper places. We 
could only take counsel for the future, and resolve that, if ever 
we enjoyed another similar opportunity, we would not thus defer 
Increasing our collection to a more convenient season. *- 

Towards night we stopped at the same high point at which we 
had breakfasted the second morning from Santarem. Now we 
were distant but six hours from that place. Here, by the deserted 
house, we found an abundance of oranges and limes. We shot a 



170 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. rvm. 

caracara eagle, Polyborus Braziliensis, a bird interesting to us 
from its beinsr also a resident of the United States. The Indians 

_ 

called it the caracara gavion. It is one of the smaller eagles, and 
somewhat allied to the vultures. We had often seen them sitting 
upon trees not far from the water, and they seemed little shy at 
our advance. We afterwards saw them on Marajo, and, un- 
doubtedly, they are common throughout the whole country. 
The hawk tribe of birds was always exceedingly numerous, many 
being beautifully marked, and of all sizes, down to a species 
smaller than our sparrow-hawk. We had shot many varieties, 
and shot at as many more. 

Our men required no urging, and we found a vast change 
from the lazy Muras. The sergeant regulated their hours of 
labour, and we were unconcerned passengers. They were all 
young, and more inclined to frolic than other Indians that we 
had seen. 

The sergeant had with him a curious musical instrument. It 
consisted of a hollow reed six feet in length, in one end of which 
was fitted a smaller joint extending a few inches. In this was a 
blowing hole ; and from the whole afiair our amateur produced 
sounds much like those of a bugle, playing a number of simple 
tunes. The men passed half their time in singing, and two of 
them, who seemed to be leaders, often composed a burden of 
their own of the wonders they expected to see in the city, to 
which the others joined in chorus. 

We inquired of them the name of the Amazon in the Indian 
tongue. It was Para-na-tinga, King of Waters. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

WE arrived at Santarem about midnight, and anchored off the 
house of Captain Hislop, waiting for the morning. The Captain 
was absent, but had left orders to place his house at our disposal ; 
therefore, without further ceremony, we took possession, and 
breakfasted once more upon the delightful Santarem beef. We 
called upon our friend Senhor Louis, and were gratified to find 
that he had not forgotten us in our absence, but had made for us 



CHAP, xvm.] SANTAREM NEGRO-STEALING. 171 

a good collection of insects, and other matters in which we \vere 
interested. He pressed us much to protract our stay, as did Mr. 
William Golding, an English resident, who called upon us ; but 
our loss of time at Villa Nova obliged us to make all speed to Para. 

The large black monkey which had been given us two 
months before, and whose society we had anticipated with mingled 
emotions, had gone by the board about a week previous, " lying 
down and dying like a man," as the old lady said. To console 
our bereavement somewhat, she sent down to the galliota a pair 
of young, noisy, half-fledged parrots, and a pavon or sun- bird. 
Senhor Louis added a basket of young paroquets and a pair of 
land-turtles, and Mr. Golding a pretty maraca duck. Thus we 
were to have no lack of objects for sympathy or entertainment 
for the remainder of our voyage. 

We do not know how near we came to getting into difficulty 
with some of Santarem's officials, although innocent of all inten- 
tion of offending. Senhor Bentos' servant had gone ashore, and 
called upon the sister of the Senhor ; and, probably, not exactly 
understanding, herself, why she had been forwarded in our boat, 
had made an unintelligible story of the whole matter. The 
Senhora sent us a polite request to visit her, which we did ; and 
to her inquiries we answered as we could. She was anxious that 
we should see her brother-in-law, who could not call upon us, 
she observed, " because his neck was so short and his belly so 
big," and offered to send a servant with us to the gentleman's 
house. We could not refuse, and went accordingly. The Senhor 
was in his hammock, and it was evident enough that his sister's 
expression was truthful at least, for he was sorely afflicted with 
dropsy. He was a lawyer, and, after thanking us for our attention, 
commenced a legal cross-examination of the whys and where- 
fores of the wench's case. It was no joke to be suspected of 
negro-stealing ; but we replied, according to our ability, that we 
had received no instructions from Senhor Bentos, that the woman 
had come on board without our wishing it, that she had stayed 
on board without our needing her services, and that we had 
brought her to Santarem because we had not stopped elsewhere. 
Just at this time came in a gentleman whom we had known at 
Para, and after a few words of explanation we were bowed out of 
the house with the profoundest civility. And we would advise 



172 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. rmi. 

no Amazon voyager to receive in charge negro cooks, unless 
their master comes w ; th them. 

We left Santarem as the sun was setting, and, the men being 
favourably inclined, we made rapid speed during the night. 

We passed Monte Alegre upon the afternoon of the next day, 
the 12th. It had been our intention to stop for a few hours at 
this town, for the purpose of obtaining specimens of the beautiful 
cuyas there made, and for a ramble upon the mountain in the 
vicinity ; but a strong breeze drove us into the remoter channel, 
at least fifteen miles from the town, and we could not cross. 

During the night a furious wind, accompanied by rain, pre- 
vented our advance. Early upon the 13th we stopped in a small 
bay for a few hours until the sea should abate. The men slung 
their hammocks under the trees, or stretched themselves on logs, 
as they could find opportunity. For ourselves, we got out the 
lines, and fished with decided success. We also shot a pair of 
geese, which were called up by our decoys. 

At this spot our cabin was filled with a large fly, the mutiica, 
which, in the dry season, is almost as great a pest by day as the 
carapana by night. But here our pavon showed himself useful, 
walking stealthily about the floor, and picking off fly after fly 
with inevitable aim. Not many days after we discovered that he 
was as fond of cockroaches as of flies ; and it was then a regular 
pastime to put him in one of the lockers and stir up the game, 
which we had no difficulty in finding, nor he in catching. 

Our noisy additions from Santarem made longer endurance 
out of the question, and, after long threatening, at last we suc- 
ceeded in " setting up the family government." As the first over- 
ture thereto, a rope was crossed a few times in the tolda. Upon 
this the arara and the parrots were placed, with the under- 
standing that they might look out of the door as much as they 
pleased, and be invited thence, at regular hours, to their meals ; 
but that further liberties were inadmissible and unattainable : 
so there thev sat, scarcely knowing whether to laugh or cry. 
The paroquets were stationed at the afterpart of the cabin, and 
the change which had come over one of the green ones from 
Barra was amusing. She had been the wildest and crossest 
little body on board, always resenting favours and biting kindly 
hands. But since the lately received young ones had been 



CHAP, xviii.] FAMILY GOVERNMENT A CONGRESS. 173 

put with her, she had assumed all the watchfulness of a 
mother, feeding them, taking hold of their bills and shaking 
them up to promote digestion, and generally keeping them in 
decent order. She had no more time to gad about deck, but, 
soberly inclined, with the feathers of her head erect and ma- 
tronly, she stuck to her corner and minded her own business. 
Meanwhile, Yellow-top looked on with the calm dignity of a 
gentleman of family. 

When opposite Pryinha we took an igaripe, to avoid the 
long circuit and the rough channel, and sailed many miles 
upon water still as a lake. Here were vast numbers of ducks 
and ciganas, Opisthocomus cristatus. These latter had lately 
nested, and the young birds were in half plumage. They 
seemed to be feeding upon pacovas, which grow in abundance 
upon the grounds of a deserted sitio ; and as we startled them 
they flew with a loud rustling of their wings like a commotion of 
leaves, hoarsely crying era, era. The nests of these birds are 
built in low bushes, and are compactly formed of sticks, with a 
lining of leaves. The eggs are three or four, almost oblong, and 
of a cream-colour marked with blotches of red and faint brown. 

During the night the wind blew with such strength as to drive 
us towards shore ; and several times we were among the cara- 
panas, or running up-stream in the romances, almost equally dis- 
agreeable. 

Where we stopped next morning, the 14th, the whole region 
had been overflowed upon our ascent. Now the waters had 
fallen three feet, and the land was high and dry, and covered by 
a beautiful forest. While at this place extraordinary noises from 
a flock of parrots at a little distance attracted our attention. At 
one instant all was hushed, then broke forth a perfect Babel 
of screams, suggestive of the clamour of a flock of crows and 
jays about a helpless owl. It might be that the parrots had be- 
leaguered one of these sun-blinded enemies ; or perhaps the 
assembly had met to canvass some momentous point the over- 
bearing conduct of the araras, or the growing insolence of the 
paroquets. Guns in hand we crept silently towards them, and 
soon discovered the cause of the excitement. Conspicuously 
mounted upon a tree-top stood a large green parrot, while around 
him upon adjacent branches were collected a host of his coin- 



174 A VOYAGE UP TE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvni. 

peers. There was a pause. " O Jesu u ! " came down 

from the tree-top, and a burst of imitative shrieks and vociferous 

applause followed. " Ha, ha, ha a ! " and Poll rolled his 

head and doubled up his body, quite beside himself with laughter. 
Tumultuous applause and encores. " Ha, ha, ha, Papaguyri 

a !" and he spread his Mings and began to dance on his 

perch with mphasis. The effect upon the auditory was pro- 
digious, .id all sorts of rapturous contortions were testifying 
their intelligence, when some suspicious eye spied our hiding- 
place, and the affrighted birds hurried off, their borrowed notes 
of joy ludicrously changed to natural cries of alarm. Complacent 
Poll ! he had escaped from confinement ; and with his stock of 
Portuguese was founding a new school among the parrots. 

In the afternoon we entered the igaripe through which we had 
sailed upon the llth of June, occupying then the entire day, but 
which now required but two hours. Here we saw a number of 
otters. The men called them by some wild note ; and immedi- 
ately the animals raised their heads and shoulders above the 
surface of the water, and listened without the least apparent fear. 
It was almost too bad to spoil their sport ; but the opportunity 
was too tempting, and straightway amongst the^m whizzed a ball. 
They dived below and we saw them no more. 

When ascending we had seen the mountains upon the northern 
side of the river for several days ; but as we left this igaripe* 
they broke upon us in one full view, seemingly of t\vice the 
height and tenfold the beauty of the mountains we had seen before. 

Next morning the shore was very low ; scarcely dry from the 
receding waters. A mud flat extended for more than a mile into 
the river, and the top of the water was spotted by roots and 
stumps of trees. 

Towards night we left the Amazon for a narrow passage which 
led into the River Xingu ; and for several hours our course was 
in the clear waters of that river, among islands of small size and 
surpassing beauty, fust at sunset, as we were proceeding silently, 
there came floating over the water the rich flute-like notes of 
some evening-bird. It was exactly the song of the wood-thrush, 
so favourite a bird at the North ; and every intonation came 
freighted with memories of home, of dear ones, far, far away. 
Even the Indians seemed struck with an unusual interest, and 



CHAP, xviii.] GURUPA' LEAVK THE AMAZON. 175 

rested upon their paddles to listen. We never had heard it 
before ; and so strangely in unison was the melody with the hour 
and the scene, that it might well have seemed to them the voice 
of the " spirit-bird." We passed the small town of Boa Vista. 
At first there seemed to be but one house from the light ; but 
the noise of our singing attracted attention, and a dozen torches 
welcomed us to shore if we would. 

Here we had first made the acquaintance of the carapanas, and 
here we left them for ever. They had clustered around us in 
prosperity and adversity with a constancy that might have won 
the hearts of those who were stronger nerved, or whose sympathies 
were more expanded than ours ; but we parted from them in un- 
grateful exultation. 

We reached Gurupa about noon of the 16th. Here we first 
received tidings of the war between the United States and 
Mexico. Seventy thousand volunteers, our informant said, had 
passed over the Mexican frontiers, and were advancing by rapid 
marches to the borders of Guatemala ! 

It was three o'clock the next afternoon when we stood upon 
the cabin-top for a last look at the main Amazon ; and as a turn 
of the Tajipuru, into which we had now entered, shut it suddenly 
from our view, we could not but feel a sadness as when one parts 
from a loved friend whom he may never see more. The months 
that we had passed upon its waters were bright spots in our lives. 
Familiarity with the vastness of its size, the majesty and the 
beauty of its borders, the loveliness of its islands, had not weak- 
ened our first impressions. He was always the king of rivers, 
stretching his dominions over remotest territories, and receiving 
tribute from countless streams ; moving onward with solemn and 
awful slowness, and going forth to battle with the sea in a manner 
befitting the loftiness of his designation and the dignity of his 
claims. 

We were now sailing in narrow channels towards Braves, but 
by a different route from that of our ascent. A great number of 
channels from the Amazon intersected our course, through which 
the water poured furiously. The shores again bristled with 
palm-trees ; or forests of seringa and the huts of the gum- 
collectors skirted the stream. 

We gathered great quantities of assai, and, ourselves turning 



176 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvin. 

artists, we could have it in Para perfection, and could bid adieu 
without a thought to our stores of coffee and other former indis- 
pensables which were disappearing one after another a sure 
token that by this time our voyage should have ended. 

Our motherly paroquet came upon deck for an airina\ and em- 
braced the opportunity of a high starting-point and a near shore 
to give us French leave ; but a few hours after, as if to supply 
her loss, we picked up a little musk-duck not more than a day or 
two from the shell. The little fellow was all alone, his mother 
having taken flight at our approach, and his brothers and sisters, 
very likely, having fallen prey to some water enemy. He was 
wild enough at first, but soon became extremely familiar, and 
was the pet of the cabin. Now he swims in matured and beau- 
tiful plumage in one of our New York ponds, and we trust that, 
when his flesh returns its dust to dust, it will be when his head 
is gray and his years honoured, and without the intervention of 
thanksgiving epicure or Christinas knife. 

Late in the evening of the 18th we reached Braves, the same 
little old town that we had left it. We went on shore for our 
much-desired water-jars, and found that the old woman had ful- 
filled her promise, for there they stood glazed and finished 
amongst a row of gaudy brothers that quite looked them out of 
countenance. We offered to pay for them in two milree notes, 
which, being at a slight discount, were not received. Then we 
offered Spanish dollars, but the jackass of a storekeeper did not 
exactly like the appearance of those bright-looking tilings, and 
refused to receive anything but copper. We had no copper, and 
came away, with a hearty and heartily expressed wish that the 
jars might stand upon his shelves till his head was gray. 

Leaving Braves with the morning tide, in a few hours we had 
passed out of the narrow channels, and were fairly crossing the 
Bay of Limoeiro, taking what is called the Carneta route, the 
usual one for vessels bound down. For three days we were 
crossing from one island to another, often twelve and fifteen miles 
apart, and in what looked more like a sea than the mouth of a 
river. The channel was not very distinct, and our pilot knew 
little of his business. Even-where were shoal banks exposed at 
]uw tide, and many times we struck upon the bottom, which, for- 
tunately, was no harder than mud. 



CHAP, xvui.] SERINGA-TREES. 177 



The men were growing eager for the city, and sonn after mid- 
night, upon the morning of the 22nd, they started of their own 
accord, and for a couple of hours we went on swimmingly. But 
a strong wind arose, and the rising waves tossed our frail boat 
somewhat uncomfortably. For some hours we coasted along a 
sand-bank, in vain endeavouring to attain a passage to the island 
a hundred yards within, frequently striking with such violence 
as to make us fearful that the bottom of the boat would be stove 
in. At last, about daybreak, we contrived to set two poles 
firmly in the mud, and, tying our boat to them, we were pitched 
and rolled about as if in an ocean storm. The men swam to 
shore and caught a breakfast of shrimps in pools left by the tide. 
Towards noon as the flood came in we were able to moor nearer 
the trees and beyond reach of the wind. 

This island was covered by a fine forest, in which were abund- 
ance of seringa-trees all scarred with wounds. We made some 
incisions with our tresados, and the milk at once oozed out and 
dripped in little streams. Its taste was agreeable, much like 
sweetened cream, which it resembled in colour. These trees were 
often of great height and from two to three feet in diameter. The 
trunks were round and straight, and the bark of a light colour, 
and not very smooth. The wood was soft, and we easily cut off 
a large root, which we brought away with us. The top of the 
seringa is not very wide-spreading, but beautiful from its long 
leaves, which grow in clusters of three together, and are of an 
oblong-ovate shape, the centre one rather more than a foot in 
length, the others a little shorter. These leaves are thin, and 
resemble in no respect the leaves of an East-Indian plant, often 
seen in our greenhouses, and called the caoutchouc. There is 
not, probably, a true seringa in the United States. Around 
these trees were many of the shells (Ampullarias) used in dip- 
ping the gum, and also some of the mud cups, holding about half 
a gill each, which are fastened to the tree for the purpose of 
catching the gum as it oozes from the wound. We found also 
the fruit of the seringa. It is ligneous, the size of a large peach, 
divided into three lobes, each of which contains a small black 
nut. These are eagerly sought by animals, and although the 
ground was strewed with fragments it was with great difficulty 
that we found a pair in good preservation. Specimens of all these 



178 A VOYAGE UP TlfE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xvm. 

thing*, wood, leaves, shells, cups, and seeds, we secured. The 
manufacture of the gum we had not yet seen, but shall describe 
shortly. 

The waves somewhat subsiding, and the wind being more 
favourable, we started again at two in the afternoon, this bein<r 
our last crossing. The point at which we aimed was about fifteen 
miles distant, and we arrived near the shore soon after sundown. 
But here we were again entangled in shoals, and for a long time 
were obliged to beat backwards and forwards endeavouring to find 
the channel, with the comfortable feeling to incite us that the 
tide was rapidly running out and that we bade fair to be left high 
and dry in the mud. At last we found the right course, and were 
soon stopping at a house at the entrance of an igaripe. Here we 
were told that our passage had been very perilous, and that only 
the day before a vessel loaded with cacao had gone to pieces upon 
these same shoals. We engaged a man to go with us to pilot our 
pilot, and, starting once more, pulled all night. 

The morning of the 23rd found us in a narrow stream, and 
soon after sunrise we stopped at a deserted sitio to breakfast. 
Here our guide left us, returning in his montaria, as our pilot 
declared that now he perfectly remembered the way. We sailed 
on, the streams winding about in every direction, and passed 
many sitios and sugar engenlios upon the banks. At eleven o'clock 
we came to a very large house, which our pilot said was that of 
the Delegarde of Santa Anna, and that now that town was but two 
turns ahead. We continued on two turns, and twenty-two turns, 
but without seeing the lost town, although our necks were strained 
and eyes weak with the search. As fortune would have it, 
a montaria came down the stream, and we learned to our dismay 
that we were in the river Murue, altogether the wrong stream, 
and that we had deviated from the main and evident course soon 
after breakfast ; moreover, that, had we not chanced to meet this 
montaria, we might have gone on all night through the forest 
without seeing a house or a man. Here was the time for all our 
philosophy. Turning back, after a few hours we struck into a 
cross stream, and at last were in the Kixi, the river upon which 
Santa Anna stands. It was midnight when we arrived at th's 
town. It is an excise-port, and every vessel passing pays a tol 
of ten vintens. We were hailed by a guard and ordered to stop. 



CHAP, xviii.] SANTA ANNA RUBBER SHOES. 179 



Our sergeant had put on his uniform, and now went on shore to 
adjust matters, while we remained viewing the town as we could 
by starlight. Starlight undoubtedly flatters ; still Santa Anna 
is considered the prettiest little town in the province. A large 
church of fine proportions stands directly by the shore ; the 
houses are well proportioned and good-looking ; and fronting the 
stores are wharves built out into the water. The town derives 
much of its importance from its being a port of excise ; but all 
the surrounding country is thickly settled by sugar-planters and 
growers of cotton. 

The sergeant, returning, reported no duties, as he had told the 
officer that we were upon public business, bearing his majesty's 
mail. 

Between Santa Anna and the river Moju is the igaripe Merim, 
a short canal cut through by government for the purpose of ena- 
bling vessels to reach Para more readily, and to avoid a tedious 
circuit. Striking into this, we continued down with the tide, and 
daybreak of the 24th found us far advanced upon the Moju. 
This is a small stream, and its banks are covered with flourishing 
plantations. We passed what appeared to be the ruins of a vil- 
lage, consisting of a large cjiurch and a few houses. 

At ten o'clock we stopped at an anatto-plantation, awaiting 
the tide, and here we saw the manufacture of rubber. The man 
of the house returned from the forest about noon, bringing in 
nearly two gallons of milk, which he had been engaged since day- 
light in collecting from one hundred and twenty trees that had 
been tapped upon the previous morning. This quantity of rnilk 
he said would suffice for ten pairs of shoes, and when he himself 
attended to the trees he could collect the same quantity every 
morning for several months. But his girls could only collect from 
seventy trees. The seringa-trees do not usually grow thickly, 
and such a number may require a circuit of several miles. In 
making the shoes two girls were the artistes, in a little thatched 
hut which had no opening but the door. From an inverted 
water-jar, the bottom of which had been broken out for the purpose, 
issued a column of dense white smoke, from the burning of a 
species of palm-nut, and which so filled the hut that we could 
scarcely see the inmates. The lasts used were of wood exported 
from the United States, and were smeared with clay to prevent 

N2 



ISO A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP, xviir. 

adhesion. In the leg- of each was a lon^ stick serving as a handle. 
The last was dipped irto the milk and immediately held over the 
smoke, which, without much discolouring, dried the surface at 
once. It was then re-dipped, and the process was repeated a 
dozen times until the shoe was of sufficient thickness, care being 
taken to give a greater number of coatings to the bottom. The 
whole operation, from the smearing of the last to placing the 
finished shoe in the sun, required less than five minutes. The 
shoe was now of a slightly more yellowish hue than the liquid 
milk, but in the course of a few hours it became of a reddish- 
brown. After an exposure of twenty-four hours, it is figured as 
we see upon the imported shoes. This is done by the girls with 
small sticks of hard wood, or the needle-like spines of some of 
the palms. Stamping has been tried, but without success. The 
shoe is now cut from the last and is readv for sale, brino-in"- a 

* 

price of from ten to twelve vintens or cents per pair. It is a 
long time before they assume the black hue. Brought to the 
city, they are assorted, the best being laid aside for exportation 
as shoes, the others as waste rubber. The proper designation for 
this latter, in which are included bottles, sheets, and any other 
form excepting selected shoes, is borafha, and this is shipped in 
bulk. There are a number of persons in the city who make 
a business of filling shoes with rice-chaff and hay previous to 
their being packed in boxes. They are generally fashioned into 
better shape by being stretched upon lasts after they arrive at 
their final destination. By far the greater part of the rubber 
exported from Pard goes to the United States, the European 
consumption being comparatively very small. 

At this place we found the largest and finest oranges that we 
had ever seen, and for about twelve cents purchased a bushel. 

Anatto is a common product in the vicinity of Para, but in no 
place is it cultivated to much extent. The plant is the Bixaorel- 
lana. It is a shrub growing much like the lilac, and bears a 
dark leif similarly shaped, but much larger. The clusters of 
fruit-pods contain numerous small red seeds, which yield the 
substance known as the anatto of commerce, and which is used 
extensively in colouring cheese. It is difficult to obtain the 
anatto in a pure state ; its colour so much resembles that of red 
clay as to render adulteration easy and profitable. 



CHAP, xix.] ARRIVAL AT PARA. 181 

Late in the evening we arrived at Jaguary, the place of the 
late Baron Pombo, who was the greatest proprietor in the pro- 
vince, owning more than one thousand slaves, and cultivating an 
immense territory. The village consists almost entirely of the 
residences of those dependent upon the estate ; and the bright 
light of torches and the noise of various factories and mills indi- 
cated that labour was exerting itself by night as well as by day. 
We moored close under the Baron's house, a large palace-like 
edifice. 

Starting once more at two in the morning of the 25th, by 
three we had crossed the Acara, and by daybreak were within 
sight of the city. The music of the band, the ringing of the 
bells, and the distant hum, came towards us like water to thirsty 
souls. The men broke out into a joyous song, and with a lively 
striking of their paddles, beating time to their quick music, they 
sped us past canoe after canoe that in easy indolence was coursing 
like ourselves. 

At eight o'clock we were once more upon the Punto da Pe- 
dras, the spot we had left one hundred days before, receiving the 
warm congratulations of friends and the curious attentions of a 
mofley crowd who had collected to gaze at the strangers from the 
Sertoen. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

SHORTLY after our return commenced the festival of Nazare. 

This is the grand holiday of Para, when business is suspended 
and citizens have no care but pleasure. Our Lady of Nazareth 
seems to have received proper honours of old in the mother 
country, and the faithful colonists still acknowledged her maternal 
kindness by enshrining her as their most popular tutelary. Did 
trouble afflict, or sorrow bow down : did danger menace, or were 
dangers escaped, our blessed Lady was ever considered the 
friend and benefactress. Many are the traditions of her mira- 
culous interpositions and wonderful cures, all tending to prove 
how well she deserves the exalted place she holds in the hearts of 
all good citizens. 

Befitting so beneficent a saint is the beautiful spot devoted to 



182 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xix. 

her worship ; a neat chapel within an ever- verdant forest- 
embowered meadow. Quite lately a number of graceful cottages 
have been erected about the area, mostly by wealthy persons in 
the city, who prefer to live here during the festa. At this time 
numerous temporary constructions also line the adjacent road on 
either side, or find room about the square. The time usually 
chosen by long custom is the last of September, or early in 
October, when the increasing moon throws her splendours over 
the scene, and the dry season has fairly ushered in the unclouded 
brilliant nights ; when the air is redolent of perfume, and deli- 
cious coolness invites from the closeness of the city. 

Associated with the kind offices of our Lady is an ancient 
legend deemed worthy an annual recollection. It is of a knight 
who, when rushing over an unnoticed precipice in pursuit of a 
'leer, was saved from destruction by the timely apparition of our 
T^ady, which caused the deflection of his affrighted horse. 

It was about four in the afternoon, when the fierce sun's heat 
began to lose its power, that the procession which was to com- 
mence the festa by escorting our Lady to her chapel formed in 
the Largo da Palacio. Amid the din of music, the discharge of 
rockets, and the vociferous applause of a vast crowd of blacks, it 
set forth. AVe had accepted the kind offer of a friend, and were 
watching from a balcony in the Rua da Cadeira. As the line 
approached, first and most conspicuous was a car drawn by oxen, 
in which were stationed boys having a supply of rockets, which 
at little intervals they discharged. Nothing so pleases a Bra- 
zilian as noise, especially the noise of gunpowder ; and not only 
are rockets crackling night and day upon every public occasion, 
but the citizens are wont to celebrate their own private rejoicings 
by the same token. 

Directly behind this car came another similarly drawn, upon 
which was a rude representation of the before-mentioned legend 
a monster of a man upon a caricature of a horse being; about 
to leap into space, while a canvass virgin upon the edge of the 
rock, or rather in the middle of the cart, prevented the cata- 
strophe. Behind her was an exquisite little deer, no canvass 
abomination, but a darling of a thing, just from the forest, wild 
and startled. The poor thing could not comprehend the confu- 
sion, and would gladly have escaped, but the cord in its collar 



CHAP, xix.] PROCESSION THE FESTA. 183 

forced it back, and at last, seeming resigned to its fate, it lay mo- 
tionless upon its bed of hay. 

Next followed the carriages, and therein, the pictures of com- 
placence, sat the civic dignitaries and civic worthies. As loco- 
motion is the sole object, everything that can contribute thereto, 
from the crazy old tumble-down vehicle of the conquest, through 
every description of improvement until the year '46, is pressed 
into the service. Most noticeable -in this part of the procession 
is the President, a fine-looking man, whose attention is constantly 
occupied by his fair friends in the balconies. Here and there is 
a foreign consul, conspicuous among whom is the official of her 
Majesty of England, a venerable soldierly figure, one of Wel- 
lington's campaigners and countrymen, and occupying decidedly 
the most dashing turn-out of the day. Last of the carriages 
comes a queer-looking vehicle, known by no conventional name, 
but four-wheeled, and resembling the after-part of an antique 
hackney-coach cut in two vertically and crosswise. In this sits 
a grave personage, holding in his hand the symbol of our Lady, 
to all appearance a goodly sized wax-doll in full-dress, magnili- 
cent in gaudy ribbons, and glowing with tinsel. Nos.-a Senhora 
is the darling of the crowd, and her attractions have lost none of 
their freshness during her year's seclusion. 

/ 

Now come the equestrians, whose chargers do credit to their 
research, if not to the country which produced them ; now and 
then one being a graceful animal, but the greater number raw- 
boned, broken-winded, down-hearted, and bat-bitten. After 
these come black-robed priests, students in uniform, and genteel 
pedestrians, and, last of all, the military in force, preceded by 
their fine band. 

Passing through the more important streets, the long line turns 
its course towards Nazare, and here our Lady is deposited upon 
the altar of her chapel, and the festa has fairly begun. 

The festa is of nine days' duration, and service is performed in 
the chapel every evening. For the first two or three days the 
people are scarcely in the spirit of the thing, but before the 
novena is ended the city is deserted and its crowds are at home 
in Nazare. Let us take a sunset walk and see what is curious in 
a Para festival. The brightness of day has passed, with scarcely 
an interval, into the little inferior brilliance of the full moon. 



184 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xix. 

The trades, that blow more freshly at night, unite with the im- 
perceptibly falling dew in exhilarating after the day's fatigues. 
Lofty trees and dense shrubs throw over us their rapidly varying 
shadows, and from their flower homes the cicadas and other night 
insects chant their homage to the blessed Lady in a vesper-hymn. 
Grave matrons are passing along attended by servants bearing 
prayer-books ; and comfortable-looking old gentlemen, who have 
forgotten age in the universal gaiety, are rivalling young beaux 
in the favours of laughing girls whose uncovered tresses are flash- 
ing in the moonlight, and from whose lips the sweet tones of their 
beautiful language fall on the ear like music. Indians move 
silently about in strong contrast to the groups of blacks, the same 
noisy careless beings as elsewhere. ^Numbers of wenches pictu- 
resquely attired are bearing tiaysof do^es upon their heads, and 
children of every age add their share of life and glee to the scene. 
Suddenly we leave the road and the square is before us. The 
air is brilliant with torchlights ; crowds of indistinct moving 
figures are crossing in every direction, and the noisy rattle of a 
hundred gambling-tables drowns all other sounds. These tables 
are as remote from the chapel as possible, and are licensed by the 
authorities. Upon each table are marked three colours black, 
red, and yellow. The proprietor holds in his hand a large box, 
in which are a number of corresponding coloured balls. Who- 
ever is inclined stakes his money upon either colour ; a little 
door opens in the side of the box, a ball comes forth, and he has 
lost or won ; probably the former, for the chances are two to 
one against him. But adverse chances make no difference, and 
crowds are constantly collected about the tables, mostly of little 
boys who have staked their last vinten, and who watch the exit 
of the ball with outstretched necks, starting eyes, and all the 
excitement of inveterate gamblers. It is amusing to watch these 
scenes. The complacent proprietor, very likely a black boy, 
grinning so knowingly at the increasing pile before him and at 
the eagerness of his dupes, is evidently in sunshine. The poor 
little fellow who has lost his all turns away silently with dejected 
look and tearful eyes. But let him win ! A proud satisfaction 
brightens up his face, he looks around upon his unsuccessful 
mates with an air of most provoking triumph, and slowly rakes 
the coppers towards him, as though they could not be long enough 



CHAP, xix.] THE FESTA. 185 

in coming. Sometimes a pretty Indian girl hesitatingly stakes 
her treasure, timidly hoping that she may yet be the fortunate 
possessor of some coveted trinket : but, alas, the divinities here 
are heedless of black eyes and raven hair, and she turns away 
disappointed. At another stand nothing less than paper is the 
etiquette, and some of Para's bucks seem inclined to break the 
bank or lose their last milree. 

Scattered everywhere over the square are the stands of the 
doce-girls, who are doing a profitable business. Some of the 
cottages round about are fitted up with a tempting display of 
fancy wares ; others are used as cafes, or as exhibition-rooms for 
various shows ; and from others come the sounds of music and 
dancing. Ladies and gentlemen are promenading about, waiting 
the commencement of the ceremonies in the chapel. 

In all this crowd there is perfect order, and no drunken brawl 
or noisy tumult demands the police. 

At eight o'clock service is notified by the ascent of rockets, 
and those who care attend the chapel. Within are the more 
fashionable ladies and a few gentlemen ; without, in the large 
open portico, are seated upon the floor the black and Indian 
women, dressed in white, with flowers in their hair, and profusely 
scented with vanilla. The congiegation is still, the ceremonies 
proceed. Suddenly a sweet chant is commenced by the choir, 
one of the beautiful Portuguese hymns. The chorus is caught 
by the crowd in the portico. An old negre>s rises upon her 
knees, and acts the part of chorister and guide in a voice almost 
drowning the sweet tones about her, calling successively upon all 
the saints of the calendar. " Hail to tliee, Sunto Tomasio ! Hail 
to thee, Santo Ignacio !" Certainly she has a good memory. 
There is something indescribably beautiful in the tones of these 
singers. Men, women, and children all join in the same high 
key, and the effect is wild and startling. 

The service is over, and the amusements succeeding encroach 
far into the small hours of morning. Balls and parties are given 
in the cottages or beneath the broad spreading trees, and the 
light-hearted and happy dance until they are weary to the music 
of the guitar or their own songs. 

While we were in Para an interesting incident occurred to 
diversify the festival. A few weeks before, a Portuguese bark 



18C A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xx. 

had left Para for Lisbon. One day out of the river, in the 
early morning, a squall struck her, threw her upon her beam's 
end. and she was capsized before a single passenger could escape 
from the cabin. The mate and seven seamen were thrown unhurt 
into the water. The small boat was likewise cast loose, and this 
they succeeded in attaining. They were in the ocean without 
one morsel to eat or one drop of water. For several weary 
days they pulled, and, worn out by hunger and thirst, they laid 
them down to die. They had implored the aid of our Lady of 
Nazareth, had made her a thousand vows, but she would not save 
them. One rises for one more last look ; land is in view ; hope 
rouses their wasted frames, and they reach Cayenne in safety. 
The inhabitants succour them and send them to Para with the 
boat, whither they arrive during the festa, bringing the first 
accounts of the disaster. The enthusiasm of the people was 
extreme. An immense procession was formed. The boat was 
borne upon the shoulders of the saved men. and deposited with 
rejoicings in the portico of our Lady's chapel, another memorial 
of her kindly aid. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE far-famed island of Marajo. a little world of itself, differing 
from aught else in its appearance, its productions, its birds, and 
its animals, had long been to us an object of the most intense 
curiosity. Did we inquire the whereabouts of any curious animal 
of the dealer in the Rua. almost invariably the answer was Mai ajo ; 
or the locum teneus of some equally curious bird of the wenches 
on the Punto da Pedras, of cour>e it was Marajo. Could not 
we catch a glimpse of an alligator? Yes. thousands on Marajo. 
And monster snakes and tigers? Always on Marajo. One 
would have thought this island a general depot, a sort of 
Pantological Institute, where any curiosity might be satisfied by 
the going. Ever since we had been in the country we had heard 
of it. had seen occasionally the distant tree-tops, and had even 
coasted along its upper side in the galliota; but our longings for 
a face-to-face acquaintance and an exploration of its wonders 



CHAP. xx.J CAPE MAGOARY 167 

seemed likely to remain ungratified. And yet we had been upon 
the eve of seeing Marajo for the last thirty days, thanks to Mr. 
Campbell's kindness ; but the festa of our Lady of Nazareth and 
the slow and easy habits of the people had kept us waiting from 
day to day, until the Undine's arrival, and expected speedy 
return, bade us bend our thoughts homeward. 

But our intention was fulfilled after all. At an hour's notice 
we left Para, about nine o'clock one pleasant evening in Sep- 
tember, dropping down with the ebbing tide. Our destination 
was Jungcal, upon the remote north-west corner of the island. 
The distance is not very great ; a clipper schooner would call it 
a holiday excursion, and a little steamer which could mock at the 
trades and the flood-tides would run it off in a pleasant morning. 
As it is, and alas that it should be so ! the Jungcal passengers 
think themselves fortunate if the winds and ^des of a week speed 
them to the destined point. Our craft was a cattle-boat, a little 
schooner without a keel, with the least possible quarter-deck, and 
scanty turnings-in for two below. A year before we should have 
quarrelled with the rats and cockroaches, but our recent expe- 
rience had endued us with a most comfortable coolness in our 
manner of taking such small inconveniences. The crew were half- 
breeds, about a dozen in all, men and boys. The captain was a 
mulatto, not. over twenty years of age, intelligent and sufficiently 
attentive. Had it not been for these attractive qualities, we 
should have grumbled unconscionably at a speculation of his, 
whereby, to deposit an Indian woman who had ventured on 
board as passenger in the steerage, he had lost an entire day in 
crossing to the Marajo side and back again. One would naturally 
suppose that, once upon the island shore, we could have coasted 
around Cape Magoary without, re-crossing ; but the river is beset 
with shoals, and no careful survey has yet sufficed to put these 
mariners at their ease. 

Early upon the fourth morning we struck across from Point 
Taipii, sixty rniles only below Para, and soon were running 
towards Cape Magoary with no guide but the stars, beyond view 
of land on either side. Our careful captain himself took the 
helm, and as we neared the shoals a man was constantly heaving 
the lead. The channel now was usually but one and two fathoms 
deep, and the brackish taste of the water was soon lost in the 



188 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xx. 

overpowering current which set in from the main Amazon. 
Beyond Cape Magoa r y are a number of small islands, the names 
of three of which are the Ship, the Bow, and the Flycatcher, or 
Navio, Arco, and Bentivee ; all uninhabited by man, and affording 
secure homes to countless water-birds. The isle of the Bow is 
overrun with wild hogs, the increase of a tame herd once wrecked 
upon a shoal near by. Here the captain offered to land us for an 
afternoon's sport, but the wind was fresh, and we were too near 
Jungcal for any such enticements. Late in the evening we 
crossed the bar, passing into a small igaripe, and in a few 
minutes were moored off the cattle-pen. Once more we slept 
quietly, undisturbed by surfs and tossings. 

The morning dawned in all the splendour of a tropical summer, 
and long before the sun's rays had gilded the tree-tops we 
were luxuriating in, the fresh invigorating breeze, and admiring 
the beautiful vicinity that wanted not even the sunlight to 
enchant us. The ebbing tide had left exposed a large flat, 
extending an eighth of a mile opposite the cattle-pen, and lost, 
at perhaps twice that distance, in the woods above. Here and 
there a tiny stream crept slowly down, as if loth to leave the 
beautiful quiet island for the rough waters beyond. Directly at 
our side an impervious cane-brake shot up its tasselled spires, 
rustling in the wind ; while in every other direction was piled 
the dark massive foliage of tropical shrubs and trees. Above, 
and bevond reach of harm, a number of great blue herons were 
stalking solemnly about, and near them a company of spoon- 
bills and white egrets displayed to us their delicate tints in the 
increasing light. Opposite, a constantly gathering flock of large 
white herons were intently watching our movements, as though 
balancing in their own minds the chances of danger with the 
prospect of no breakfast and a hungry family at home. 

But the loveliest views will tire in time, and, despite the 
interest we felt in the position of things about us, when hour after 
hour passed away, and the gentle twilight became the fierce 
morning heat, while the scarcely perceptible ebbing tide would 
in no wise speed its movements in our behalf, we began to feel 
somewhat like prisoners in durance. So, to vary the scene, we 
ventured by the kindly aid of some tottering poles to gain the 
shore, and started to explore a little landward. But the country 



CHAP, xx.] JUNGCAL-A BREAKFAST BirxDS. 189 

soon opened out into a campo, and the baked clay, uncovered 
with verdure and deeply indented by the hoofs of cattle, made 
walking out of the question ; therefore we were fain to turn back 
again, and, perched upon a fence-top, attempted resignation. 

When the tide did turn it made amends for all sluggishness, 
dashing furiously in with a seven-mile velocity, instantly flooding 
the shoals and filling the channel. Quickly we were in the boat 
and hurrying towards Jungcal, unaided by the paddle, save in 
keeping the course. The birds which had been feeding had 
gathered themselves hastily up, and now sat perched upon the 
overhanging trees, gazing down as if they did not half com- 
prehend the mystery of such a sudden wateriness, although daily, 
for their lives long, they had thus been shortened of their 
morning's meal. A pair of king vultures, urubutingas, were 
sailing overhead, conspicuous for their white shoulders and glossy 
plumage. Two miles quickly sped brought us to Jungcal, a 
small settlement of some half-dozen houses, residences of the 
overseers and cattle-drivers. We were greeted as old friends, 
and, being just in time for breakfast, sat down be not startled, 
companions of our heretofore wanderings, who have heard us 
discourse upon the virtues of aboriginal diet, and partaken 
with us of monkey and sloth, parrots, cow-fishes, and land 
turtles sat down to a steak, not of the exquisitely flavoured 
victim of the Fulton market, nor of the delicious colt-flesh of 
the Patagonian gourmand ; but to one more exquisite, more 
delicious. Ah ! ye young alligators, now comprehended we wliy 
chary nature had encased ye in triple mail. 

One of our objects in visiting Jungcal was too see a rookery 
of ibises and spoonbills in the neighbourhood ; but as the day 
had so far advanced, we determined to postpone an excursion 
thither until the morning. Meanwhile we amused ourselves in 
exploring the vicinity, and in looking over the beautiful collection 
of bird-skins belonging to Mr. Hauxwell, an English collector, 
whom we were agreeably surprised to meet here. It was inte- 
resting to find so many of the water birds of the United States 
common here also, and to recognise in the herons, the 7'ails, the 
gallinules, the ibises, the shore -birds, et -multi alii, so many old 
acquaintances, in whose society we had, long ago, whiled away 
many a delightful hoar. 



190 A VOYAGE UP T&E RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxi. 

Upon one side of the houses the bamboos formed a dense 
hedge, but elsewhere in every direction stretched a vast campo, 
unmarked by tree or bush, save where the fringed stream but 
partially redeemed the general character. A few horses were 
feeding about, the last remnant of vast herds that once roamed 
the island, but which have disappeared of late years by a conta- 
gious pestilence ; and which, judging from the specimens \ve saw, 
were anything but the fiery coursers described as herding on the 
perhaps more congenial plains to the north and south. 

Upon the margin of a small pond close by a number of scar- 
let ibises were feeding, so tame, from all absence of molestation, 
as to allow of near approach. Terra-terras were screaming 
about, and at a distance stalked a pair of huge white birds, known 
in the island as tuyuyus, Mycteria Americana. We were ex- 
ceedingly desirous to obtain one of these birds, but they were 
wary, and kept far beyond even rifle-shot. They are not uncom- 
mon upon the campos, and are occasionally seen domesticated in 
the city. A young one which we had previously seen in the 
garden of the palace stood between four and five feet from the 
ground. "When full-grown the tuyuyu is upwards of six feet in 
height. Its neck is bare of feathers, and, for two-thirds of its 
length from above, black ; the remainder is of a dark red. Its 
bill is about fifteen inches long, and by its habit of striking the 
mandibles together a loud clattering noise is produced. About 
every house were pens in which were scores of young ibises and 
spoonbills, which had been brought from the rookery for the pur- 
pose of selling in Para. They readily became tame and well re- 
paid the care of the negroes. Brought up for the same purpose 
were parrots, paroquets, blackbirds, larks, and egrets ; besides a 
mischievous coati, who was everywhere but where he should 
have been. Towards nisrht vast flocks of various water-birds 
came flying inland, attracting attention by their gaudy colouring 
and noisy flight. 



CHAFfER XXI. 

THE length of the island of Marajo is about one hundred and 
twenty miles ; its breadth averages from sixty to eighty. Much 



CHAP, xxi.] MARA JO CATTLE TIGERS. 191 

of it is well wooded, but far the larger part is campo, covered 
during the wet season with coarse tall grass. At that time the 
whole island is little more than a labyrinth of lakes. In summer 
the superabundant waters are drained by numerous igaripes, and, 
rain rarely falling, this watery surface is exchanged for a garden 
of beauty in some parts, and into a desert upon the campos. The 
population of the island is large, consisting mostly of Indians and 
half-breeds. Some of the towns, however, are of considerable 
size, but most of the inhabitants are scattered along the coast and 
upon the igaripes. Four hundred thousand cattle roam over the 
campos, belonging to various proprietors, the different herds being 
distinguishable by peculiar marks or brands. The estate of which 
Jungcal forms part numbers thirty thousand cattle, and a great 
number of Indians and blacks are employed in their care, keeping 
them together, driving them up at proper seasons to be marked, 
and collecting such as are wanted for exportation to the city. 
These men become extremely attached to this wild life, and are 
a fearless, hardy race, admirable horsemen, and expert with the 
lasso. When horses abounded, it was customary to drive the 
marketable cattle towards the Para side of the island, whence 
transmission to the city was easy ; but at present they are shipped 
from Jungcal, or other places still more remote, thus causing 
great waste of time, and ruining the quality of the beef. The 
cattle are of good size, but not equal to those of the south. 
Great numbers of young cattle, and old ones unable to keep up 
with the herd, are destroyed by the " tigres" which name is ap- 
plied without much precision to different species. The black 
tiger is seen occasionally ; the Felis on^a is most common of all. 
Neither of these is known to attack man ; and in their pursuit 
the islanders exhibit great fearlessness and address, never hesitat- 
ing to attack them when driven to a tree, armed with a tresado 
fastened to a pole. At other times they overtake them upon the 
campos, running them down with horses and lassoing them. 
Once thus caught, the tiger has no escape. He is quickly stran- 
gled, his legs are tied, and, thrown over the horse's back like a 
sack of meal, he arrives at the hut of his captor. Here a dash of 
water revives him, but his efforts to escape are futile. An onca 
taken in this manner was brought to Para for Mr. Campbell. 
He was strangled both on being taken on and oiT the canoe, and, 



132 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxr. 

after beinj; revived, was marched upon his fore legs through the 
streets, two men holding each a hind leg, and others guiding- him 
by the collar upon his neck. This animal was afterwards brought 
to New York by Captain Appleton. Frequently young tigers are 
exposed for sale in the market, and one of these was our fellow- 
passenger in the " Undine" upon our return. We read in works 
of natural history most alarming accounts of the fierceness of the 
Brazilian felines, but, as a Spanish gentleman remarked to us of 
the jaguar, " those were ancient jaguars they are not so bad 
now-a-days." 

The cattle have another enemy in the alligators, which seem to 
have concentrated in Marajo from the whole region of the Ama- 
zon, swarming in the lagoons and iaripes. There are two spe- 
cies of these animals, one having a sharp mouth, the other a round 
one. The former grow to the length of about seven feet only, 
and are called jacare-tingas or king jacares. This is the kind 
eaten. The other species is much larger, often beiny se^n twenty 
feet in length, and we were assured by Mr. Campbell that skele- 
tons of individuals upwards of twenty-five feet in length are 
sometimes encountered. 

In the inner lakes towards the close of the rainy season my- 
riads of ducks breed in the rushes, and here the alligators swarm 
to the banquet of young birds. Should an adventurous sports- 
man succeed in arriving at one of these places, he has but a poor 
chance of bagging many from the flocks around him, for the 
alligators are upon the alert, and the instant a wounded bird 
strikes the water they rush en masse for tlie poor victim, clam- 
bering over one another and crashing their huge jaws upon each 
others' heads in their hasty seizure. Late in the wet season they 
lay their eggs, and soon after, instead of becoming torpid, as would 
be the case in a colder climate, bury themselves in the mud, 
which, hardening about them, effectually restrains their locomo- 
tion until the next rains allow their dislodgment. The inhabit- 
ants universally believe that the alligator is paralyzed with fear 
at the sight of a tiger, and will suffer that animal to eat off its 
tail without making resistance. The story is complimentary to 
the tiger at all events, for the tail of the alligator is the only part 
in esteem by epicures. 

JSnakes spend their summers in the same confinement as alii- 



CHAP, xxi.] SNAKES A NT AS. 193 



gators, and, upon their issuing forth, are said to be very numerous 
and often of great size. It was from Marajo that the anaconda, 
now or lately exhibited at the American Museum, was brought, 
and this fellow, as well as the " Twin Caffres," we frequently 
saw at Para before their transportation to New York. The 
largest snake known of late years at Para was twenty-two feet in 
length. He was captured upon Fernando's Island, near the city, 
by the negroes with a lasso, as he lay upon the shore basking in 
the sun. He had long infested the estate, carrying off, one time 
with another, about forty pigs. Even after being captured and 
dragged a long way to the house, he coiled his tail around a too 
curious pig, that we may suppose was gloating over his fallen 
enemy, and would have made a forty-one of him, had not the ex- 
ertions of the blacks forced him to let go his hold. 

We never heard an instance of snakes attacking man, and the 
negroes do not fear an encounter with the largest. Snake-hunts, 
doubtless, have exciting interest as well as others less ignoble. 
As elsewhere remarked, these reptiles are very frequently kept 
about houses in the city, and may be often purchased in the 
market nicely coiled in earthen jars. Southey records an old story 
to this effect : " that when the anaconda has swallowed an anta, or 
any of the larger animals, it is unable to digest it, arid lies down 
in the sun till the carcass putrifies, and the urubus, or vultures, 
come and devour both it and the snake, picking the flesh of the 
snake to the back-bone, till only back-bone, head, and tail are left ; 
then the flesh grows again over this living skeleton, and the snake 
becomes as active as before." The march of knowledge in this 
department is certainly onward; now, gentlemen in Para believe 
no more, than that the whole belly and stomach fall out trap- 
door-like, soon to heal again, and ready for a repetition. In 
either case the poor snake is much to be pitied. 

The antas, or tapirs, ai*e animals not often found upon the 
mainland, but occasionally observed on Marajo along the 
igaripes. They are by many considered as amphibious, but they 
live upon the land, merely resorting to the water for bathing. 
In size they resemble a calf of a few months, and when old are 
of a brown colour. They are remarkable for a proboscis-like 
nose. When tamed, they are extremely docile, and are allowed 
to roam freely, being taught to return home regularly. One 

o 



194 A VOYAGE UP THfe RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. rsi. 

which we saw in this state was small, and marked with lonoitu- 
dinal spots of a light colour. 

The large ant-eater is also a dweller on Marajo. 

The ducks breeding upon this island are of two kinds, the common 
musk-duck and the maracas (Anas autumnalis). The latter are 
most numerous. By the month of September the young are well 
grown, and the old birds are debilitated from loss of their 
wing-quills. Then, particularly upon Igaripe Grande, on the 
Para side, people collect the ducks in great flocks, driving them 
to a convenient place, and, catching them, salt them down by the 
canoe- load. 

Of the water-birds frequenting Marajo, the scarlet ibis and 
the roseate spoonbill excel all in gorgeousness and delicate 
colouring. The ibises are of the brightest scarlet, excepting the 
black tips of the wings, and their appearance when, in serried 
ranks the length of a mile, they first come to their breeding-place, 
is described, as one might well imagine it, as wonderfully magni- 
ficent. They appear in this manner in the month of June, and at 
once set about the forming of their nests. At this time they are 
in perfect plumage, but, soon commencing to moult, they lose 
somewhat of their beauty. The young birds are ready to depart 
in December, and then the whole family disappear from the 
vicinity, excepting a few individuals here and there. In Maran- 
ham the breeding-season is in February, and, in that month, 
Captain Appleton found them there in vast numbers. Sometimes, 
but rarely, they are observed in the gulf districts of the United 
States, but they have never been known to breed there. The 
nests are made of small sticks, loosely formed. From two to 
three eggs are laid, greenish in colour, and spotted with light 
brown. 

The roseate spoonbills do not migrate as do the ibises, being 
quite common upon the whole coast, and sometimes being seen 
far up the Amazon in summer. The delicate roseate of their 
general colouring, with the rich lustrous carmine of their shoul- 
ders and breast-tufts, as well as the singular formation of their 
bills, render them objects of great interest as well as beauty. 
They are seen fishing for shrimps and other small matters along 
the edges of the water, or in the mud left exposed by the ebbing 
tide, and, as they eat, grind the food in their mandibles moved 



CHAP, xxi.] MIXI ANA INDIAN BURIAL-PLACES. 195 

laterally. As well as the ibis, they are exceedingly shy at every 
season except when breeding. They breed in the same places 
with the scarlet ibises and the wood ibises, and the nests of the 
three resemble each other in every respect but in size. The eggs 
of the spoonbill are from three to four, large, white, and much 
spotted with brown. The birds are called by the Brazilians 
colhereiros, meaning spoonbill. The name of the ibis is guerra, 
signifying warrior. 

Another of the northern birds here breeding is the wood ibis, 
Tantalus loculator, much larger than either of the above. Its 
general plumage is white, the tips of the wings and the tail being 
a purplish-black. By the natives it is called the jabiru, which 
name in Ornithologies is more generally applied to the tuyuyu. 
It lays two or three eggs of a dirty-white colour. 

We found here also one of the rarer land-birds of Audubon, 
the fork- tailed fly-catcher, Muscicapa forficatus,and were fortunate 
enough to discover its nest. This was near the water, in a low 
tree, and was composed of grass and the down of some plant. 
The eggs were two in number, white, and spotted with brown, 
at the larger end more particularly, resembling, except in size, 
those of our king-bird. 

Opposite Jungcal, and in view from the shore, is the island of 
Mixiana, twenty- five miles in length, and resembling Marajo in 
its characteristics. This is entirely the property of Senhors 
Campbell and Pombo, the proprietors of the Jungcal estate, and 
here they have many thousand cattle. 

Upon Mixiana are Indian burial-places, and from these are 
disinterred urns of great size, containing bones and various 
trinkets. Unfortunately our time would not allow us to visit 
that island, or we should have been at the pains of exploring these 
interesting remains. "VVe saw, however, one of the jars at 
Jungcal. Similar burying-places are found in various parts of 
Brazil and Paraguay, and the ancient method of interment in 
most of the tribes was the same. 

Beyond Mixiana is the much larger island of Caviana, and 
many other islands of considerable size are strewn over the mouth 
of the river. 

Upon the opposite shore is the town of Macapa, said to con- 
tain the finest fort in Brazil. The situation is considered 

o 2 



196 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xn. 

unhealthy, and foreigners rarely visit there. Sailing from Para 
to Macapa, one passes more than forty islands. Between Macapa 
and Marajo is seen in its perfection the singular phenomenon 
known as the Bore, or Pororoca, when the flood-tide at the 
instant of its turning rolls back the waters of the river in an 
almost perpendicular wall. Condamine, many years ago, described 
the sea as " coming in, in a promontory from twelve to fifteen 
feet high, with prodigious rapidity, and sweeping away everything 
in its course." No one knows of such terrible phenomena now- 
a-days. We inquired of several persons accustomed to piloting 
in the main channel, and of others long resident in the city and 
familiar with the wonders of the province, but none of them had 
known the water to rise above the height of five feet, even at the 
spring-tides. A canoe of any size is in no danger, her bow being 
turned to the flood. 

Early in the morning we accompanied Mr. Hauxwell to a 
tree upon which a pair of tuyuyus were building their nest. A 
nimble Indian climbed the tree, but the nest was unfinished. It was 
thirty feet from the ground, composed of large sticks, and looked 
from below big enough for the man to have curled himself in. 

We left Jungcal for the rookery about nine o'clock, with the 
flood-tide, in a moritaria with a couple of guides. They were 
men of the estate, and looked upon the adventure as most lucky 
for them. Making pleasure subservient to business, they carried 
their harpoons for fish or alligators, and baskets for young birds. 
Immediately after leaving the landing we startled a cigana from 
her nest in the low bushes by the water. The stream grew more 
and more narrow, winding in every direction. Tops of tall 
trees met over our heads, countless flowers filled the air with 
perfume, and the light and shade played beautifully among the 
green masses of foliage. 

Upon the trees were perched birds of every variety, which flew 
before our advance at short distances in constantly increasing 
numbers, or, curving, passed directly over us ; in either case 
affording marks too tempting to be neglected. Upon some top- 
most limb the great blue heron, elsewhere shyest of the shy, sat 
curiously gazing at our approach. Near him, but lower down, 
herons white as driven snow some tall and majestic as river 
naiads, others small and the pictures of gracu were quietly dozing 



CHAP, xxi.] ALLIGATORS THE ROOKERY. 197 

after their morning's meal. Multitudes of night herons, or tacares, 
with a loud quack, flew startled by ; and now and then, but 
rarely, a boatbill with his long-plumed crest would scud before us. 
The snakebird peered out his long neck to discover the cause of 
the general commotion ; the cormorant dove, from the dry stick 
where he had slept away the last hour, into the water below, 
swimming with head scarcely visible above the surface, and a 
ready eye to a treacherous shot, Ducks rose hurriedly, and whistled 
away ; curassows flew timidly to the deeper wood ; and fearless 
hawks, of many varieties, looked boldly on the danger. 

With a noise like a falling log an alligator would splash into 
the water from the bank where she had been sunning herself or 
looking after her nest ; and often at once half a dozen huge, un- 
sightly heads were lifted above the surface, offering a fair but 
not always practicable mark for a half-ounce ball. Occasion- 
ally a whole family of little alligators, varying in length from 
six to eighteen inches, would start out of the leaves instinctively, 
some plumping themselves in, as the examples of their respected 
mammas had taught them ; others, in their youthful innocence, 
standing gazing at us from the top of the bank, but with more 
than youthful cunning ready also to plump in at the least motion 
towards raising a gun. At frequent intervals the beaten track 
from the water disclosed the path of some of these monsters ; and 
a pile of leaves just seen through the trees showed clearly the 
object of their terrestrial excursions. 

As we neared the rookery, after a two hours' pull, the birds 
were more and more abundant, and the alligators more and more 
bold, scarcely minding our approach, and only learning caution 
by repeated applications of leaden balls. The frequent proximity 
of the king jacares offered many opportunities to the harpooner 
in the bow ; but we learned, by his ill success, that these autocrats 
cared very little for punches in the ribs. 

Turning suddenly we left the bordering forest for a cane-brake, 
and instantly broke full upon the rookery. In this part the 
scarlet ibises particularly had nested ; and the bended tops of the 
canes were covered by half-grown birds in their black plumage, 
interspersed with many in all the brilliance of age. They seemed 
little troubled at our approach, merely flying a few steps forward 
or crossing the stream. Continuing on, the flocks increased in 



198 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxi. 

size ; the red birds became more frequent, the canes bent beneath 
their weight like reeds. Wood ibises and spoonbills began to be 
numerous. The nest of all these filled every place where a nest 
could be placed ; and the young ibises, covered with down, and 
standing like so many storks, their heavy bills resting upon their 
breasts and uttering no cry, were in strong contrast to the well- 
feathered spoonbills, beautiful in their slightly roseate dress, and 
noisily loquacious. Passing still onward, we emerged from the 
canes into trees; and here the white herons had made their 
homes, clouding the leaves with white. Interspersed with these 
were all the varieties mentioned before, having finished their 
nesting, and being actively engaged in rearing their young. "We 
had sailed above a mile, and at last, seeming to have approached 
the terminus, we turned and went below a short distance to a con- 
venient landing where we could pursue our objects at leisure. 
The boatmen at once made their dispositions for basketing the 
young birds ; and soon, by shaking them down from the nests and 
following them up, had collected as many as they desired. We 
wandered a long distance back, but the nests seemed, if anything, 
more plentiful, and the swarms of young more dense. At the 
sound of the gun the birds in the immediate vicinity rose in a 
tumultuous flock ; and the old ones circled round and round, as 
though puzzled to understand the danger they instinctively feared. 
In this way they offered beautiful marks to our skill ; and the 
shore near the canoe was soon strewed with fine specimens. Evi- 
dently this place had been for many years the haunt of these 
birds. Not a blade of grass could be seen ; the ground was smooth 
and hard, and covered with excrement. 

Occasionally, and not very rarely, a young heedless would 
topple into the water, from which the noses of alligators con- 
stantly protruded. Buzzards also upon the bank sunned them- 
selves and seemed at home ; and not unfrequently a hungry 
hawk would swoop down and away with his prey almost un- 
heeded. 

We were amused by the manner of feeding the young scarlet 
ibises. In the throat of the old female bird, directly at the base 
of the lower mandible, is an enlargement of the skin, forming a 
pouch, which is capable of containing about the bulk of a small 
hen's egg. She would return from fishing on the shallows, with 



CHAP, xxi.] ALLIGATOR'S NEST. 199 

this pouch distended by tiny fish, and allowed her young to pick 
them out with their bills. 

It was late when the tide turned, and we hastened away with 
the canoe loaded to overflowing. The birds seemed now col- 
lecting for the night. Squads of bright-coloured ones were 
returning from the shore, and old and young were settling on the 
canes over the water like swallows in August. An alligator gave 
us an opportunity for a last shot, and the air was black with the 
clouds of birds that arose, shrieking and crying. I never con- 
ceived the idea of a cloud of birds before. 

On our way down we discovered the nest of a socco, the tiger 
bittern, close by the water. The old bird observed our motions 
for an ascent with indifference, when, up through the feathers of 
her wing, peered the long neck of a little fellow, intimating that 
we might as well be off if it was of eggs we were greedy. 

Soon after we arrived at the spot which we had marked in the 
morning, where an alligator had made her nest, and, sa?is ceremonie, 
proceeded to rifle it of its riches. The nest was a pile of leaves 
and rubbish, nearly three feet in height, and about four in dia- 
meter, resembling a cock of hay. We could not imagine how or 
where the animal had collected such a heap, but so it was; and 
deep down, very near the surface of the ground, from an even 
bed, came forth egg after egg, until forty -five had tolerably filled 
our basket. We kept a good look-out that the old one did not 
surprise us in our burglary, having read divers authentic tales of 
the watchful assiduity of the mother. But nothing appeared to 
alarm us, and we concluded that, like others of the lizard family, 
alligators are merely anxious to make their nests and trust to the 
fermenting heat and to Providence for hatching and providing 
for their brood of monsters. These eggs are four inches in length, 
and oblong ; being covered with a crust rather than a shell. They 
are eaten, and our friends at the house would have persuaded us 
to test the virtues of an alligator omelette, but we respectfully 
declined, deeming our reputations sufficiently secured by a break- 
fast on the beast itself. 

Ave Maria had sounded when we reached Jungcal, and the 
satisfaction we felt at the close of this, the greatest day's sporting 
we had ever known, amply compensated for all our fatigue. The 
boat in which we came being obliged to return immediately, we 



200 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxn. 

were under the necessity of leaving this delightful spot, where 
\ve could have been content to while away a month. But one 
such day as we had passed repaid us for the inconveniences of a 
week upon the water. 

"\Ve bade adieu to our good friends in the morning, taking the 
last of the ebb to arrive at the vessel. But, when quite near, the 
tide turned, the flood rushed in, and we were very likely to re- 
visit Jungcal. However, by running in-shore, and claiming assist- 
ance of the overhanging canes, after a weary pull we readied 
our goal, almost inclined to credit M. Condamine. 

The crew were loading with the cattle, which had been driven 
down the day before, and were uow confined in the pen. This was 
enclosed on every side but that towards the water. A dozen men 
stood inside and out, some holding the lasso, others ready to pull 
the instant the animal was caught, and others still were armed 
with sharp goads with which to force him onward. Some of the 
cattle showed good Castilian spirit, and their rage was several 
times with difficulty eluded by a leap to the friendly fence. 
Once in the water, their struggles were over. A rope was fast- 
ened about their horns, and thus they were hoisted up until they 
were above the hole in the deck made to receive them. Below 
they were secured to side beams, and were scarcely allowed room 
to move. 

Putting out of the igaripe, for two days we were beating to 
windward, anchoring half the time, and being tossed about in a 
way to make us curse all cattle-boats. The poor victims in the 
hold fared worse than we, deprived of food and drink, pitched 
back and forth with every motion, and bruised all over by re- 
peated falls upon the rough floor. We lost all gusto for Para 
beef. From Cape Magoary we had a fine run, reaching Para 
upon the third night. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE want of emigrants from other countries, and of an efficient 
labouring class among its population, are the great obstacles to 
the permament welfare <. f .Northern Brazil. It never was the 



CHAP, xxii.] WANT OF EMIGRANTS. 201 

policy of Portugal to encourage emigration excepting from her 
o\vn territory, and, although by the indomitable enterprise of her 
sons she secured to herself the finest empire in the world, yet, for 
want of other assistance, this empire is impoverished, and the 
millions of square miles that should now be teeming with wealth 
are entirely unproductive. With the nobler qualities of the old 
Portuguese, to which popular history has never done justice, was 
mingled a narrowness of mind that was natural enough in the 
subjects of an old and priest-ridden monarchy. The Brazilians 
have not entirely thrown off this prejudice of their ancestors, and 
still entertain somewhat of the old jealousy of foreigners, but, 
very naturally in a newly liberated government, they dislike the 
Portuguese above all others. Much of the wealth of the country 
is in the hands of the Portuguese, who, coming over when young 
with habits of shrewdness and economy, almost always accumulate 
fortunes. The Brazilians are no match for them in these quali- 
ties, and therefore hate them most cordially. For the same 
reason, this feeling is continually excited, although in a lesser de- 
gree, against other foreigners, but more in some parts of the 
empire than others, and probably as little in Para as anywhere. 

The Brazilian government offers great inducements to emi- 
grants, and yet these are more than neutralized by disabilities 
and present disadvantages. Land is free of cost, and upon any 
vacant section a man may settle, with the proprietorship of at 
least a square league, and as much more as he really requires. 
Moreover, any new improvement in tools or machinery may be 
introduced free of duties. 

The ground is easily cleared, as the roots of the trees do not 
extend far beneath the surface, and the efforts of man are further 
aided by causes attendant upon the clime. The soil is of the 
greatest fertility, and sugar-cane, rice, coffee, anatto, cotton, ca- 
cao, and a hundred other products, richly repay the labour be- 
stowed upon their cultivation ; while from the forests are obtained 
gums and drugs all yielding a revenue. Almost everything 
grows to hand that man requires ; living is cheap and the climate 
delightful. 

On the other hand, the counteracting obstacles are very great. 
Although the government professes every desire for the accession 
of foreigners, it denies them the rights of citizenship, excepting 



202 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxn. 

under peculiar circumstances, which of course obliges them to la- 
bour under legal disabilities. 

Again, import-duties are extravagantly high, and articles of 
furniture, tools, or machinery, which cannot be manufactured in 
the country without great expense, if at all, are taxed so highly 
as to be really prohibited ; although, as before stated, new in- 
ventions and improvements are introduced from abroad without 
charge. 

But a greater drawback by far is the export -duty, the most 
stupid, indefensible measure that could be conceived ; a withering 
curse to all enterprise, and a more effectual hinderance to the 
prosperity of Brazil than a weak government, dishonest officials, 
a debased currency, and all other influences together. Brazilian 
statesmen (?) imagine that the export-tax comes directly from the 
pocket of the foreign purchaser, whereas it recoils upon the pro- 
ducer, and its effect is to make the price paid for labour so low 
as to prohibit cultivation. There is scarcely a product raised in 
the two countries in which Brazil could not undersell the United 
States in every market of the world were it not for this tax. Its 
cotton and rice, even during the past year, have been shipped from 
Para to New York ; its tobacco is preferable to the best Vir- 
ginian, and can be raised in inexhaustible quantities. 

The imposition upon the producer is also increased by the tithe 
required for the church ; and, between the two, the lower classes 
are under a burden which occasionally becomes insupportable, 
and which is the undoubted cause of the general and increasing 
disaffection toward the government, and of the revolutions which 
have heretofore broken out, and which are always feared. Rub- 
ber shoes, which are principally made by the low whites and 
Indians, pay three taxes to the treasury before they leave the 
country, until the first price is nearly doubled. Not a basket of 
oranges or of assai comes to market untaxed. 

Not only do products exported to foreign countries pay duties, 
but even from one Brazilian port to another, and from one inland 
town to another. A few bags of coffee which were sent by us 
from the Barra of the Rio Negro to Santarem paid duties at the 
latter place. Chili hats coming from Peru pay duties at the 
frontier, again at Para, and again at Rio Janeiro. No country 
in the world could bear up under such intolerable exactions, and 



CHAP, xxii.] WANT OF CIRCULATING MEDIUM. 203 

Brazilian statesmen may thank their own folly if the empire be 
dismembered. 

Another obstacle severely felt is the want of a circulating me- 
dium. The Brazilian currency consists almost entirely of copper, 
arid paper issued by the government. The smallest value is one 
ree, corresponding to one half-mill in our currency ; and the 
smallest coin is of ten rees the largest of eighty, or four vintens. 
One thousand rees make a milree, the smallest paper note, about 
equal in value to a half-dollar. There are various issues, from one 
milree to one thousand. Excepting in the city and upon the re- 
mote frontiers, gold and silver will not circulate. The amount of 
bills in the province of Para is never adequate to the wants of the 
people, and their tendency is always to the city. Furthermore, 
by the operations of government, even the little currency that is 
floating is constantly fluctuating in value. Upon one pretext or 
another, tiiey call in notes of a certain denomination at short no- 
tice and under a heavy discount. Such was the case with the 
two-mil ree notes when we were upon the river. Not long since 
it was discovered that the Treasurer at Rio Janeiro had sent to 
the provinces a vast amount of money for the payment of the 
troops which was certainly struck off the original plate, but dif- 
fered from the true emission by the absence of a letter or word. 
It was a fraud of the Treasurer, unless, as many believed, sanc- 
tioned by the government. These bills were scattered to the re- 
motest corners of the empire, when suddenly appeared an order 
recalling the whole within a certain limited time. If this were 
a speculation of the government, it was probably a profitable one, 
though the country may not have received the benefit of it. But 
a few years since, one milree was nearly or quite equivalent in 
value to one dollar in silver. B^r^\fr (JbfW 

The truth is that the Brazilian government is a weak govern- 
ment. It is too republican to be a monarchy, and too monarchical 
to be a republic. If it were decidedly one or the other, there 
would be greater strength and greater freedom ; but now it has 
neither the bulwark of an aristocracy nor the affection of the 
people. It is forced to depend entirely upon a regular army for 
its existence, and is kept in a state of constant alarm by dis- 
turbances in its provinces or invasions of its frontiers ; it is 



a 4 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxri. 

bowed beiieath a heavy foreign debt, and obliged to use all kinds 
of expedients, not to make advance, but to retain its position. 

Were Para a free and independent state, its vast wilds would 
in a few years be peopled by millions, and its products would 
flood the world. It contains an area of 950,000 square miles, 
nearly half the area of the United States and all its territories. 
Its soil is everywhere of exhaustless fertility, and but an exceed- 
ingly small portion of it is unfitted for cultivation. The noblest 
rivers of the world open communication with its remotest parts, 
and lie spread like net-work over its surface. It is estimated 
that the Amazon and its tributaries present an aggregate navigable 
length of from 40,000 to 50.000 miles. The whole territory is 
as much superior in every respect to the valley of the Mississippi, 
as the valley of the Mississippi is to that of the Hudson. 

But, besides the hinderances to prosperity on the part of the 
government, the settler has other disadvantages to strug-gle against, 
one of which, being the deficiency of means of transportation 
throughout the interior, may be but temporary ; the other is the 
effect of the climate. It is not to be denied that, although the 
climate is singularly healthy, its constant heat is enervating, and 
that natives of colder regions after a few years' residence have 
not that bodily strength requisite to daily and protracted toil. 
It is only in the early morning and late in the afternoon that 
white men can labour in the open air ; but, where a white would 
inevitably receive a sun-stroke, a negro labours with uncovered 
head without injury or exhaustion. The one has capacity to 
direct and the other the ability to perform, and it is difficult to 
conceive how the resources of Brazil can ever be successfully 
developed without a co-operation of the two races. The blacks 
need not be slaves ; they would answer every purpose in being 
apprentices after the British West India system. 

Brazilian slavery, as it is, is little more than slavery in name. 
Prejudice against colour is scarcely known, and no white thinks 
less of his wife because her ancestors came from over the water. 
Half the officers of the government and of the army are of 
mingled blood ; and padres, and lawyers, and doctors of the 
intensest hue are none the less esteemed. The educated blacks 
are just as talented and just as gentlemanly as the whites, and in 



CHAP, xxn.j WANT OF STEAM-BOATS. 205 

repeated instances we received favours from them which we were 
happy to acknowledge. 

Efforts have been made for the establishment of steam-boats 
upon the Amazon, but from causes unforeseen and not inherent 
in the enterprise they have failed. A. few years since the govern- 
ment granted a monopoly of the river for a term of years to a 
citizen of Para. A company was formed and a small steam- 
boat brought out, but, from lack of confidence in the individual 
referred to, the enterprise progressed no further. It is said the 
government are ready to renew their offers, and there can be no 
question but that an efficient company would meet success. Such 
a company should have sufficient capital to enable it to purchase 
its own freight in the interior at least in the beginning of the 
enterprise ; for at first the novelty of the thing and the general 
dislike to innovation would prevent the co-operation of the people 
at large. Time and success would soon wear away their pre- 
judices. The present method of transportation is so tedious and 
expensive, that a steam-boat would destroy all opposition from the 
river-craft, and, by appointing proper agents in the several towns 
and making the upper depot at the Barra of the Rio Negro, 
constant and profitable freights would always be secured. 

A boat built of the wood of the country would be preferable 
on account of its not being affected by boring worms in the water, 
or by insects ; but perhaps the former might be avoided by copper. 

The navigation of the river is perfectly clear, excepting in the 
bays of Marajo and Limoeiro, and surveys in these would no 
doubt discover convenient channels. There are neither snags 
nor sawyers ; the only thing of the kind being floating cedars, 
easily guarded against. 

If a company were formed, much of the stock would be taken 
in Para, and the enterprise would receive every encouragement 
from the citizens. Sooner or later, the Amazon must be the 
channel of a vast commerce, and Pard must be, from the advan- 
tages of its situation, one of the largest cities of the world. 

It remains further to speak of the climate of Para, and of 
the extraordinary advantages which it presents to invalids and 
travellers. 

The seasons are, properly speaking, but two the rainy and 



206 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP, xxn 

the dry. The former commences about the 1st of January and 
continues until July. During the first part of this time rain 
pours unremittingly ; then, for a season, the greater part of the 
afternoon and night ; and, at last, perhaps only in a daily shower. 
At this time also the trade-winds blow with less regularity than 
in summer. 

Throughout the dry season more or less rain falls weekly, but 
strong trades blow, heavy dews distil, and the climate is perfectly 
delightful. This season commences in the interior one or two 
months earlier than at Para, and during its continuance rain 
falls more rarely. At this time a passage up the river is speedy, 
and a descent exceedingly tedious. Senhor Henriquez told us 
that he was once sixty days in coming from the Rio Negro to 
Para in a small boat, on account of the winds. Thunder 
and lightning rarely accompany the rains, and anything approach- 
ing a tornado is almost unknown. 

It seems singular that directly under the equator, where, 
through a clear atmosphere, the sun strikes vertically upon the 
earth, the heat should be less oppressive than in the latitude of 
New York. This is owing to several causes. The days are but 
twelve hours' long, and the earth does not become so intensely 
heated as where they are sixteen. The vast surface of water 
constantly cools the air by its evaporation, and removes the 
irksome dryness that in temperate regions renders a less degree 
of heat insupportable. And, finally, the constant winds blowing 
from the sea refresh and invigorate the system. 

According to observations made by Mr. Norris during the 
months of June, July, and August, at the hours of 6 A.M., 
3 P.M., and 8 P.M., the mean temperature for June was 79 98' 
Far. ; the highest 86% lowest 77 : for July the mean was 80 
54' ; highest 86, lowest 77 : for August the mean was 80 
92' ; highest 86, lowest 77. The mean for the three months 
was 80 48*, and the variation but 9. I do not believe that 
another spot upon the face of the earth can show a like result. 
This heat we never felt to be oppressive, except when dining in 
state in black cloth coats. Moreover, we were never incom- 
moded by beat at night, and invariably slept under a blanket. 
The reason for this, and also for wearing flannel next the skin 



CHAP, xxii.] TEMPERATURE HEALTH. 207 

at all times, is, that in a very few weeks a person becomes so ac- 
climated as to be sensitive to a very slight degree of variation in 
the temperature. 

This equality of temperature renders the climate of Para pe- 
culiarly favourable to health. There is no kind of epidemic 
disease ; people live to a good old age, and probably the average 
of life is as high as in the city of New York. 

Such a climate is invaluable to invalids, particularly those suf- 
fering from pulmonary complaints. Two hundred years ago Sir 
William Temple wrote after this manner upon the Brazilian 
climate generally : " I know not whether there may be any- 
thing in the climate of Brazil more propitious to health than in 
other countries ; for, besides what was observed among the 
natives upon the first European discoveries, I remember Don 
Francisco de Mello, a Portugal embassador in England, told me 
it was frequent in his country for men spent with age or other 
decays, so as they could not hope for above a year or two of 
life, to ship themselves away in a Brazil fleet, and upon their 
arrival there to go on to a great length, sometimes of twenty or 
thirty years or more, by the force of that vigour they received 
with that remove. Whether such an effect might grow from the 
air or the fruits of that climate, or by approaching nearer the 
sun, which is the fountain of life and heat, when their natural 
heat was so far decayed, or whether the piecing out of an old 
man's life were worth the pains, I cannot say." This is more 
true of the climate of Para than of any other part of Brazil. 

Multitudes of persons from the Northern States now visit the 
south in search of health, or spend their winters in the West 
India islands, at great expense and little gain, who in Para could 
reside for comparatively nothing, with a certainty of recovery. 
The passage out is low, from fifty to seventy-five dollars, and 
living in the city is cheap. At present there are no houses for 
public accommodation, but, until the influx of strangers impera- 
tively required one, the citizens and the foreign residents would 
receive the comers with open arms. And Brazilian hospitality is 
not hospitality only in name ; it is the outflowing of a noble and 
generous warmheartedness that would redeem a thousand failings. 
But if individuals prefer, houses are always to be obtained and 
servants always to be hired, and they may live as they please. 



208 A VOYAGE UP 'THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxn. 

The novelty and beauty of the country, as well as the luxury 
of the climate, afford sufficient inducements to the invalid for 
seeking both health and pleasure in Para, while its trees and 
flowers, birds, sheik, and insects, offer exhaustless resources for 
diverting the mind and promoting the bodily exercise necessary 
to a recovery of health. 

Good medical care is always present, the physicians of the 
city being graduates from European universities. Moreover, the 
medicines peculiar to the country are of great number and efficacy, 
and there is scarcely a form of disease for which nature has not 
a remedy at hand. An instance in point came directly under 
our observation, the gentleman who was the patient being for 
several weeks with us at the house of Mr. Jsorris. He had gone 
out from the United States with his system so filled with mercury 
that his mouth was ulcerated, his teeth dropping out, and his 
joints so affected that every motion produced agony. He was 
recommended at Pard to try a remedy called by the Indians mu- 
lu-re, which is the juice of a creeping-plant found plentifully 
throughout the country. In three weeks our friend was per- 
fectly cured, and is now in the United States a well man. We 
heard of similar astonishing cures from other individuals who had 
been the subjects, and every one in Para is acquainted with the 
virtues of the medicine. Why it has not been known abroad it 
b difficult to say. 

There is a wide field for medical inquiry yet left in the Bra- 
lian forests, and one that demands to be explored. 

It may be that some naturalist or sportsman may be incited 
by the recent accounts of adventures on the Amazon to undertake 
an expedition thither for research or pastime ; and, as we ourselves 
were unable to gain proper information with regard to the 
articles necessary to an outfit, a few words upon that subject 
will perhaps not be useless. In the way of clothes, half a 
dozen suits of light material, some of which are calculated for 
forest-wear, are necessary, and may be obtained ready-made, and 
at low prices, at any of our southern clothing stores ; as well as 
check and flannel shirts. A black dress suit is required by Para 
etiquette. A naturalist's implements must also be taken out, as 
well as powder, fine shot, arsenic, flower-presses, and paper and 
wooden boxes for insects and other objects. Many of these 



CHAP, xxii.] OUTFIT-LANGUAGEVOYAGE HOME. 209 

things cannot be obtained at all, or only at extravagant prices 
and of poor quality, at Para. 

As for medicines, we took out a well-filled chest, and, excepting 
for one or two doses of calomel, never opened it on our own 
account. Hartshorn is more valuable than aught else, being 
effectual against the stings of all insects. 

Hammocks are always to be had, but blankets are not, and, if 
a man intends to stretch himself upon hard boards, a rubbei 
pillow is rat-her softer than a gun-case. We also took out a 
variety of rubber articles. The clothes-bags were useful, and 
the light cloaks answered in the absence of something better, but, 
as a general thing, the articles were all humbugs. And most 
especially are rubber boots, which ought to have been known to 
the Inquisition. A far better article for a cloak is the Spanish 
poncho, a square cloth with a hole in the middle for the neck. 
Made of heavy cloth and lined with baize, no rain since the 
deluge could wet it through, and it always answers for bed or 
pillow. 

As to ignorance of the language, that is a matter of no con- 
sequence. The Portuguese is intimately allied to the Spanish, 
and is one of the most easily acquired languages in the world. 
A stranger readily learns the necessary phrases when he is com- 
pelled to do so, and a few weeks' attention renders him sufficiently 
an adept for all practical purposes. Not only are there many 
foreigners in Para who speak English, but it is very generally 
understood by the Brazilian and Portuguese merchants of the 
city.- 

It was a delightful morning in the latter part of October when 
in the good bark Undine we bade adieu to Para. We had come 
from winter into summer, and were now returning to winter 
again ; and although the thoughts of home were pleasant, it was 
very hard to part with kind friends, and to say a farewell that 
was to be perpetual to this land of sunshine, of birds, and flowers. 

Our passage was long and tedious. For days we lay becalmed 
beneath torrid burnings, and when winds did come they blew in 
furious gales. But we had wherewithal to amuse ourselves, and 
upon sundry occasions enlivened the mornings by spearing a 
dolphin or by hooking a shark. The parrots and monkeys too 
exerted themselves in our behalf. Some of the parrots died, and 

F 



210 A VOYAGE UP THE RIVER AMAZON. [CHAP. xxn. 



(he prized gift of Senhor Bentos deliberately dived from one of 
the upper yards in'o the deep, deep sea. The paroquets bore the 
voyage bravely, housed in a flannel-covered basket, and Yellow- 
top now chatters as merrily as in his far distant home by the 
Rio Negro. The little duck that we picked up from the water, 
under the Christian designation of Paddy, swims proudly in an 
Ulster lake, and discourses to the marakong geese who keep him 
company of the sudden changes of life and the virtue of content- 
ment ; but the poor macaw who had been our faithful companion 
from the remotest point of our travels, and who had made a 
triumphant entry into New York streets, covered in a blanket 
and declaiming lustily to passers-by, ventured one cold night to 
the outer yard, and perished the victim of his imprudence, 



THE END. 



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